Bradford & Bingley

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Bradford & Bingley
Industry Finance
Fate Nationalised due to insolvency. Its deposits were sold to Abbey National plc, which was eventually renamed Santander UK plc. Its mortgages are still held by Bradford & Bingley.
Founded 1964
Headquarters Bingley, West Yorkshire, UK
Key people
Richard Pym, Executive Chairman[1]
Products Financial Services
£572.3m (2007)
Profit £93.2m (2007)
Number of employees
2,862 (FTE in 2007)
Parent HM Government (UKFI / UK Asset Resolution Ltd), Santander UK plc

Bradford & Bingley plc was a British bank with headquarters in the West Yorkshire town of Bingley.

The bank was formed in December 2000 by demutualisation of the Bradford & Bingley Building Society following a vote of the building society's members, who swapped their nominal share of the building society for at least 250 shares of the newly-formed bank.

In 2008, partly due to the credit crunch, the bank was nationalised and in effect split into two parts; the mortgage book and investment portfolios remained with the now publicly-owned Bradford & Bingley plc, and the deposits and branch network (and a licence to use the B&B name for those aspects) was sold to Abbey National, itself owned by the Spanish Santander Group. Since 11 January 2010 the branch network has been rebranded Santander and the Bradford & Bingley name now solely relates to the nationalised section of the bank.


Bradford & Bingley's former headquarters building, Main Street, Bingley

Bradford & Bingley Building Society was formed in 1964 as a result of the merger of the Bradford Equitable Building Society and the Bingley Permanent Building Society, both of which were established in 1851.[2]

In May 1997 the Society bought Mortgage Express from Lloyds TSB for £64 million.[3]

In December 2000 the Society demutualised and floated on the London Stock Exchange (using the symbol BB.) with former members of the Society each receiving a minimum of 250 shares worth £567.50 at the time, and savers with more savings receiving more shares worth up to £5,000 each.[2]

Subprime mortgage crisis[edit]

A branch of the bank in Newcastle upon Tyne in October 2008

In order to combat the effects of the subprime mortgage crisis, in June 2008 the company launched a £400 million rights issue which was not well subscribed by shareholders, leaving much of issue with underwriters. The issue had not been helped when TPG Capital, who had previously agreed to take a 23% stake in the Company, withdrew their support.[4]

Due to the effects of the credit crunch, in September 2008 the company's share price dropped to a record low. On 25 September they announced that 370 jobs were to go.[5] The bank had also been seeking options from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the government to secure the future of the company. Options included selling the company to another bank or nationalisation.[6] With Bradford & Bingley being nationalised, the structure was already in place from the legislation involved in the nationalisation of the Northern Rock bank in February (see Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008 and Nationalisation of Northern Rock). The European regulators approved the government's rescue plan for Bradford & Bingley after just 24 hours.[7]

Part nationalisation and sale to Santander[edit]

There were reports from various sources that Bradford & Bingley was to be nationalised in its entirety,[8] because a suitable buyer had not been found. On 29 September 2008 it was announced that the Spanish Santander Group would acquire all of Bradford & Bingley's £20 billion (2.7 million customers) savings business and branches.[9] Santander paid £612 million, including the transfer of £208 million of capital relating to offshore companies.[10] Bradford & Bingley's 197 retail branches, 141 agencies and related employees were transferred to Santander's subsidiary Abbey.[11] The mortgage book, personal loan book, headquarters, treasury assets and its wholesale liabilities were taken into public ownership and closed to new business.[10]

When the shares closed on 26 September they were worth 20 pence each, valuing the bank at £256 million, substantially less than Santander paid for it. In March 2006 the bank had been valued at £3.2 billion.[12] In November 2008 the government set up a new company, UK Financial Investments (UKFI), to manage the shareholdings in Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.[13]

Bradford & Bingley's shareholders were not reimbursed for their shares which the government had taken over. Over 300 shareholders complained to the UK Shareholders Association that they had not received information relating to the fate of their holdings.[14] Peter Clokey of PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed by the government in June 2009 to act as independent valuer of the business, and it was reported that shareholders would be told how much compensation they were entitled to by June 2010.[15]

Clokey's assessment was published on 5 July 2010, finding that shareholders were not entitled to any compensation.[16] The decision was appealed to The Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber where on 19 July 2012, Judge Sir Stephen Oliver recorded that the court was satisfied that the Valuer had carried out his duties wholly in accordance with the Compensation Scheme.[17]

Neighbouring Bradford & Bingley and Abbey branches on Hounslow High Street, both have subsequently been rebranded as Santander

In April 2009 The Financial Times reported that Bradford & Bingley may sell assets such as its commercial loan book, to assist in the running down its £42.2bn loan book over the next ten years.[18] In October the Telegraph reported that the mortgage part of Bradford and Bingley would be mirroring the decision by Northern Rock to split their assets into good and bad assets, to attempt to pay off its £18.4 billion loan early.[19]

In May 2009, it was confirmed that the Bradford & Bingley headquarters building would be sold or sub-let.[20] Sainsbury's subsequently bought the building in 2010 and unveiled plans to redevelop it as a supermarket.[21] Planning permission for a new supermarket was granted in September 2011,[22] but in April 2012, Sainsbury's admitted that building work would not begin for another 12 months.[23] In November 2013 the company revealed it would not go ahead with a new supermarket, but would instead demolish the building and sell the site.[24]

On 11 January 2010, the combined business of Abbey and Bradford & Bingley was renamed Santander UK plc, and all branches were rebranded at a cost of £12 million.[25] Alliance & Leicester was rebranded at the end of November 2010.[26]

On 25 January 2010, the European Commission approved the state aid given to the bank.[27] On 24 March 2010 UKFI announced the merger of the mortgage business with the bad bank of Northern Rock, Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc.[28] The two businesses were merged together under a single holding company, UK Asset Resolution, on 1 October 2010.[29]


The group ran two distinct businesses: retail and lending.


Bradford & Bingley distributed brand-name and third party financial products. As at 31 December 2007 they had 197 branches and 140 third party agent locations offering retail products and face to face advice in addition to online and intermediary distribution.[30]

Bradford & Bingley's approach to mortgage advising was innovative as they advised on and sold other providers mortgages as well as their own from 2000 to 2006. In late 2006, as part of their aim to become the UK's leading specialist lender, Bradford & Bingley reverted to selling only their own mortgages under the Bradford & Bingley and Mortgage Express brands. In addition, Bradford & Bingley acquired mortgages from GMAC-RFC and Kensington Mortgage Group Ltd; this accounted for 44% of gross residential advances during 2007.[30]

As mentioned above, the savings operations have been transferred to the Santander Group and have been rebranded under the Santander name.


Bradford & Bingley had its own lending products including mortgage and commercial real estate products. Bradford & Bingley International was an offshore subsidiary based on the Isle of Man, also since transferred to Santander through Abbey. Bradford & Bingley also provided loan quotes through Compare the Loan[31] for those who did not have a Bradford & Bingley branch locally. Since the takeover by HM Treasury of the lending operations, Bradford & Bingley is no longer offering new mortgages or other lending products.

Bradford & Bingley had developed Mortgage Express into a 'niche' lending brand dealing with specialist lending with more complicated underwriting requirements such as buy-to-let and self-certification mortgages. Mortgage Express is also closed to new business, following the nationalisation.[32]


Bradford & Bingley were previously sponsors of Yorkshire County Cricket Club,[33] Bradford & Bingley RFC (formerly Bingley Bees),[34] and team sponsor of Bradford City A.F.C.[35] Valley Parade stadium had previously been known as Bradford & Bingley Stadium through sponsorship rights.


During the nationalisation process, it was revealed that the bank had registered more than 100 separate trademarks featuring the bowler hat, its long-running logo.[36] The bank had also purchased a bowler hat which had formerly belonged to Stan Laurel in 1995, for £2000.[36]

Ownership of the trademarks transferred to Santander with the licence to use the Bradford & Bingley name as part of the sale.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Board of Directors". Bradford & Bingley. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Bradford & Bingley History". Bradford & Bingley. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  3. ^ "Bradford & Bingley buys arm of Lloyds TSB". The Independent. 24 May 1997. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Treanor, Jill (15 August 2008). "Bradford & Bingley rights issue: banks could be left with large stakes". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  5. ^ "Bradford & Bingley cuts 370 jobs". BBC News. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008. 
  6. ^ "Treasury in talks to secure B&B". BBC News. 27 September 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2008. 
  7. ^ Watson, Rory (1 October 2008). "Europe approves Bradford & Bingley rescue in record time". London: The Times. Retrieved 4 October 2008. 
  8. ^ Conway, Edmund; Griffiths, Katherine (27 September 2008). "Bradford & Bingley rescue will cost taxpayer billions". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "Spanish bank giant to acquire B&B". BBC News. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "Highlights - Britain nationalises Bradford & Bingley". Reuters. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008. 
  11. ^ "Bradford & Bingley's direct channels and retail deposits to transfer to Abbey". Santander. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2008. 
  12. ^ "U.K. Treasury to Protect Bradford & Bingley Deposits". Bloomberg. 28 September 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  13. ^ "New company to manage Government’s shareholding in banks". HM Treasury. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "Bradford & Bingley bail out angers shareholders". Reuters. 6 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  15. ^ Howard, Bob (10 October 2009). "B&B share valuation by June 2010". BBC News. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  16. ^ "About (Bradford & Bingley Shareholder Action Group)". Bradford and Bingley Shareholder Action Group. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "The independent valuer of Bradford & Bingley (Home)". Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Bradford & Bingley considers asset sale". The Financial Times. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2009. 
  19. ^ "Bradford & Bingley to split good and bad assets to pay back £18.4bn loan". London: The Telegraph. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  20. ^ Bradford & Bingley to close HQ Chris Holland. Telegraph & Argus. 28 May 2009
  21. ^ "Sainsbury's aims to turn B&B headquarters into supermarket". Yorkshire Post. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  22. ^ Marc Meneaud (9 September 2011). "Sainsbury's plan to demolish Bradford & Bingley HQ approved". Bradford Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  23. ^ Marc Meneaud (23 April 2012). "Dismay as traders questio supermarket's commitment [sic]". Bradford Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  24. ^ Chris Tate (8 November 2013). "Sainsbury's U-turn over store plan for Bingley". Bradford Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Santander rebrands Abbey and Bradford & Bingley". BBC News. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  26. ^ Santander's decision to rename Alliance & Leicester 'disappointing' This is Business - East Midlands. 28 May 2009
  27. ^ "Brussels approves aid for B&B". 25 January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  28. ^ "Bradford & Bingley plc and Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc" (PDF). UKFI. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2010. [dead link]
  29. ^ "Northern Rock's 'bad bank' to be merged with Bradford & Bingley". The Guardian. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Bradford & Bingley Preliminary Results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2007" (PDF). Bradford & Bingley. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-09-27. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Compare the loan". 
  32. ^ "News". Mortgage Express. Retrieved 2008-10-14. [dead link]
  33. ^ "Bradford & Bingley sponsorship". Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  34. ^ "Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club". Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  35. ^ "History". Bradford City A.F.C. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  36. ^ a b "Who'll get custody of Bradford and Bingley's bowler hat?". BBC News. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°50′49″N 1°50′17″W / 53.847°N 1.838°W / 53.847; -1.838