State-owned RBS eyes £13bn swoop for state-owned mortgage portfolio

rbs_logoEdinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland could be about to bid on a £13bn bundle of state-owned mortgages emanating from the Northern Rock collapse.

The news comes as still 80 per cent taxpayer-owned RBS revealed yesterday that it will make a loss of £5 million on the £205m sale of a portfolio of property loans in Northern Ireland to an affiliate of private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management.

According to latest reports, RBS is now among several prospective bidders to have registered an interest in acquiring Granite, a mortgage securitisation vehicle established by Northern Rock nearly 15 years ago.

However, the report suggested the sale process was at an early stage and firm offers had yet to be received.

RBS has also declined to comment on the reports.

But any deal would represent RBS’s first major purchase since it was bailed out with £45.5bn of taxpayers’ money at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Granite is a subsidiary of UK Financial Investments, the holding company that also manages the government’s stake in RBS.

People close to the situation told broadcaster Sky News the lender was examining an offer for Granite in order to use some of the surplus liquidity on its balance sheet.

The sources said it was possible that RBS could work with other buyers - including private equity firms.

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