Bradford & Bingley, the nationalised mortgage lender, said yesterday that its first-half pre-tax losses had soared to £160m from just £26.7m in the first half of last year.
The stricken lender, which is being run down by the Government, said the reason for the loss was an alarming rise in bad debts, which rose to £328.4m from just £75.6m a year earlier.
The lender's £40.3bn loan book is now being run down, and the deposit business has been sold off to Banco Santander of Spain.
In its statement yesterday, Bradford & Bingley reported a sharp rise in mortgage arrears. Cases three months or more in arrears, or in possession, equated to 5.88 per cent of its mortgage accounts – more than double the figure for the same period last year. The figures were sneaked out late on Friday, when many in the City had already left for the weekend.