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BACKGROUND: Mortgage lender HBOS


Published :
Thu, 18 Sep 2008 12:34
By : own author
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London - Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) is the largest mortgage lender in Britain, accounting for a fifth of home lending in the country last year. With savings, insurance and investment banking activities, the HBOS group is one of the largest in the UK, employing 72,000 people. HBOS headquarters are in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the group maintains around 1,000 retail branches throughout the UK.

HBOS arose from the 28-billion-pound (35.3 billion euros) merger in 2001 of mortgage lender Halifax and the venerable Bank of Scotland, founded in 1695. The fusion produced the fifth-largest finance house in the country, after Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Lloyds TSB.

The global financial crisis has hit HBOS hard. The group's pre-tax profit for the first half of 2008 fell by more than 70 per cent to 848 million pounds (1.1 billion euros), following a three-billion (3.9 billion euros )pound asset write-down earlier in the year.

HBOS' attempt to shore up its position through a 4-billion-pound (5 billion euros) share sale in July failed to rouse the bank's fortunes. In the past week, HBOS lost almost half its market value over concerns that it didn't have the funds to back its mortgages.


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