Lloyds Bank strikes £4bn deal with Barclays to offload its loss-making Irish mortgage book

Oliver Gill
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Lloyds Bank said it wants to concentrate its operations on the UK market

Lloyds Bank today struck a deal to sell its multi-billion euro Irish property book to rival Barclays – a move that crystallises a £110m loss for the lender.

Barclays, which is fronting the deal on behalf of a number of parties such as M&G Prudential, will pay £4bn for a mountain Lloyds' residential mortgages from across the Irish Sea.

It is understood Barclays will only hold onto a fraction of the mortgages in deal which is similar to the recent £5bn sale by UK Asset Resolution of its Bradford & Bingley mortgage portfolio.

Gross assets to be transferred total £4.3bn, upon which Lloyds said it had already taken a £300m impairment. Hanging onto the Irish loans incurred losses of around £40m last year.

The deal is expected to complete in the second half of year, though the loss from the transaction will be included in Lloyds' first-half results for 2018.

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Lloyds said the sale will leave it with "minimal exposure to Ireland" and "is in line with the Group's strategy of becoming a low risk, UK-focused bank". It will also free up 0.25 per cent of extra regulatory capital.

"The sale proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes," Lloyds said.

Lloyds and Barclays shares nudged up 0.2 per cent as markets opened.

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