Banks 'aiming to reduce commercial property debt'

20 May 2011

Banks in the UK are taking action in order to reduce a £224 billion ($363 billion) exposure to commercial property.

According to the Financial Times, around half the loans are due to mature by 2013, while one-fifth still lie in breach or default as a result of the fall in values.

Published by De Montfort University in Leicester, a report into the sector noted measures to address the book of UK property loans are now taking place, with outstanding debt over the last year tumbling by around ten per cent.

Across 2010, more than two-thirds of lenders were able to reduce their loan books - but only around half of this was achieved through repayment.

Steven Hayne, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said: "The good news is that the banks are making good progress running down their non-core portfolios, which include a lot of commercial real estate."

Business secretary Vince Cable recently threatened banks in the UK with increased taxation should they fail to up their lending to businesses.

By Gary Cooper

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