INDUSTRY NEWS

HBOS announces £1bn write off

HBOS has announced it has written off £1 billion in the last year.

It said trading was "satisfactory" and the company was on track to "demonstrate a resilient performance in 2008".

"Our international businesses continue to trade well and in line with our expectations, although we are deliberately growing assets at a slower pace than in recent years."

The UK’s largest mortgage bank has recently asked shareholders for £4 billion.

It predicted growth outside of its lending division would be "significantly" lower than in 2007 and house prices would fall by nine per cent.

Large international banks with commercial property in London are struggling to recover money from sub-prime mortgages.

Mortgage lenders and customers are hoping the Bank of England will lower interest rates and add liquidity to the mortgage markets.

Sir John Grieve, the Bank’s deputy governor, has announced he is to retire once changes to its financial responsibilities have been introduced.

He said: "It makes sense for someone else to take on this task who is prepared to commit himself to a full five year term."

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