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Irish bank puts CHL sale on hold pending review

Irish Life & Permanent has delayed its decision on the sale of buy-to-let lender CHL Mortgages until the Central Bank of Ireland completes its review of IL&P.

IL&P has had more than 10 bids for CHL. A sale was due to complete in the first quarter of the year but has been put on hold until June at the earliest, when the CBI is due to finish its review.

The CBI is reviewing the loan books of the bailed-out Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland and IL&P, and will make recommendations on their future structure.

In March 2011 the CBI ordered IL&P to raise €4bn to cover potential losses from home loans following a series of stress tests of the country’s banks.

CHL, which withdrew from new lending in March 2008, has £6.5bn worth of assets under management.

The proportion of its mortgages that are more than three months in arrears is 1.45% compared with an industry average of 2.14%.

An IL&P spokesman says: “The sale process has been paused while there are ongoing discussions with stakeholders about the future strategy of IL&P.”

Geoff Laird, principal at Buy To Let Funding Services, says: “The team at CHL has done a tremendous job and it is not surprising that such a good level of interest has been shown in it.”

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