B&B axes 370 jobs as mortgage interest dwindles

25 September 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Bradford & Bingley has announced a series of initiatives to "streamline" its business operations, which will result in 370 jobs being lost as a result of the fall in mortgages.

As a result of "the wider economic environment and the significantly reduced volume of new mortgage applications", B&B will be closing its mortgage processing centre in Hertfordshire, reducing the size of its intermediary sales team, and making redundant any remaining branch based mortgage advisors.

The proposals will save the buy to let mortgage specialist £15million a year and one-off costs of £14million.

More than 100 B&B mortgage advisors were already made redundant in the first half of 2008, due to the drop in mortgage interest as some would-be homeowners opted to wait out the housing downturn until conditions showed signs of stabilising.

Others had little choice but to remain on the outside of the property market as first time buyer mortgage deals became more expensive and harder to acquire without a sizeable deposit.

According to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), gross mortgage lending was down 37 per cent in August compared to the same time last year. At £21.8 billion, lending is at its lowest monthly level for more than three years.

Despite making more redundancies, Bradford & Bingley said in a statement released today that it has no current plans to reduce the number of branches that it operates, and will be expanding employment in the area of arrears by about 70 positions in order to deal with the increase in repossessions.

"The changes we have announced today focus the business as a strong savings bank, reduce the size of our lending activities, and increase our capacity in arrears collection." said Richard Pym, chief executive at Bradford & Bingley.

"We are a strongly capitalised bank now undertaking a complex transition with regrettable job losses, but we are planning to put the problems of the past behind us and have a business which is fit for purpose going forward."

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