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European banks 'on course to shed $26bn in property loans'

Banks across Europe remain on course to shed property lending arrangements worth around €20 billion ($26 billion) by the end of the year, new data has revealed.

Figures published today (24 September) by CBRE have shown that financiers are set to dispose of a vast number of loans supported by hotels, offices and shops in order to reduce their exposure to the continent's real estate sector, the Financial Times reports.

Major organizations such as Santander, Germany's Bundesbank and Lloyds have got rid of portfolios valued at around €7.5 billion so far this year, but CBRE has found that this trend is set to accelerate in the coming months.

Indeed, executives hope to have cleared a further €11 billion from their balance sheets before the beginning of 2013 as they have realized they need to cut their losses.

Keith Breslauer, managing director of Patron Capital, told the news source: "Banks are doing everything in their power to hold out … but, ultimately, this stuff has to go."

By Claire Archer