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British mortgage lender sees profits almost wiped out


Published :
Mon, 18 Aug 2008 08:34
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London - A British mortgage lender due to be taken over by Spanish banking giant Santander reported a staggering 99-per-cent drop in pretax profits Friday for the first six months of this year. The Alliance & Leicester (A&L) bank, which last month sealed a takeover deal with Santander of 1.3 billion pounds (2.6 billion dollars), said interim profits had fallen to 2 million pounds - from 290 million pounds in the first half of 2007.

A&L said it had been hit by losses on investments as the mortgage market was drying up.

It blamed the global credit crisis for write-downs of more than 200 million pounds in the first half of 2008 but said its core business was "in good shape."

A statement said the Santander takeover provided A&L with "greater stability and certainty" at a time of "significant external risks."


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