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B&B denies rights issue

Bradford & Bingley has denied reports that it was planning to raise hundreds of millions of pounds in a rights issue this week.

Several newspapers reported during the weekend that the buy-to-let specialist would launch the rights issue before or on April 22, when it is due to publish a trading update, but the lender says it has no need to raise new equity.

A spokeswoman for the lender says: “Contrary to press speculation, B&B would like to announce that it is not intending to issue equity capital by way of a rights issue or otherwise.”

She adds: “B&B has a strong capital base, above its regulatory requirements, and as a result of the board’s conservative approach, has funded its business activities through 2008 and into 2009.

“In the current market environment, the board will naturally continue to monitor closely the balance sheet strength of the business and its funding plans.”


US mutual gets $5bn bailout

The US’ largest building society, Washington Mutual, is to be bailed out with a $5bn (£2.51bn) injection from a consortium led by TPG. The 119 year old lender has reported more than $3bn in mortgage write-downs and loan losses since the start of the credit crisis.

Housing benefit system is nonsense

A few years ago I found myself at a parliamentary breakfast at which I defined a key worker as the son or daughter of a politician, a quip that the MPs around the table found hard to digest.

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