Byline: Steve Pain
Mortgage specialist Bradford & Bingley -which has number of outlets in the West Midlands -unveiled a preclose trading statement in line with expectations.
The announcement came alongside news that it has also completed its pounds 150 million buyback programme.
Earlier, the mortgage bank said in its end-of-year trading statement it was on course to meet analysts' 2003 profit forecast which span the pounds 249 million to pounds 266 million range.
In its statement, the company said trading continued as expected with strong growth in lending balances and continued improvement in credit quality.
The performance next year is set to be underpinned by a historically low interest rates, a still buoyant housing market and continued record levels of remortgaging, B&B said.
It also announced it was buying its sixth and biggest loan portfolio from GMAC, the finance arm of General Motors Corporation. This time B&B is acquiring GMAC loans worth some pounds 1.4 billion and has the right buy them in four separate tranches.
It will pay a minimum of pounds 100 million for each chunk it scoops up, although it could hand over a maximum of pounds 1.4 billion for the entire book.
This latest loan portfolio will increase the group's managed assets, which stood at pounds 29.4 billion at the end of June, by around 4.8 p er cent Bradford & Bingley also announced it is suspending its share repurchase programme in order to plough cash back into its growing savings and loan business and has bought back some pounds 150 million in shares since February 2002. …