The Bradford & Bingley just announced their numbers for last year. Am I the only one who thinks that these numbers are just plain mad?
Loans to mortgage borrowers increased 27 per cent in 2007
The housing market was topping off and the B&B increased their mortgage lending by 27 percent. That sounds a little reckless, don't you think? Was anyone in the B&B thinking about risk?
The B&B took 7.7 per cent of the new lending market, more than double its 3.3 per cent share of the existing market.
To coin an old cliche, fools rush in where angels fear to trend. The divergence between new lending and market share suggests that the B&B kept lending while other banks were pulling back.
Net interest margin slipped by 9 basis points
The B&B is trying to attract cash by cutting the margin between borrowing and lending rates. This is not the act of a healthy institution.
Arrears are now 1.63 per cent of the total loan book; up from 1.3 per cent.
Bad loans are in the increase; an ominous sign going forward.
Bad debt charges on its residential mortgages had trebled
Let me get this straight; the B&B increased its mortgage lending by 27 percent while it needed a three fold increase in bad debt charges on its residential lending. The B&B would benefit from better internal communication. Don't they talk to each other?
Impairment charges and one-off losses amounted to £225.6 million
The B&B recorded these losses when; a) the economy was growing at around 3 percent; b)unemployment is at an all time low and c) house prices during the first half of the reporting period were growing rapidly. I wonder what those losses would be if; i) the economy drifted into a recession, ii) unemployment increased a few percentage points, and iii) house prices crashed?