FSA rumoured to be seeking buyer for B&B

Bradford & Bingley is thought to be in takeover talks as reports surface that the Financial Services Authority is gauging interest in the lender.

National newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times are carrying reports claiming that the FSA has approached Spanish lender Banco Santander to take over the buy-to-let lender.

Santander, the parent of Abbey, added to its UK market presence with the buy-up of Alliance & Leicester in July for £1.2bn.

The FSA is also thought to have made contact with National Australia Bank and Dutch banking group ING in an attemot to drum up interest in the take over.

A spokeswoman from B&B says: “We are not aware of anything in connection with any of these banks. Our funding foundations are solid, and we are well-capitalised.”

The FSA has refused to comment.