Alliance & Leicester is likely to have to write off a further £50m against the value of its so-called 'toxic loans' in the first half of next year, on top of the £55m charge announced last week. The Observer

t announced a £40m write-off against SIVs but revealed that, even after that charge, its holdings of these instruments were in the books at £346m, £52m more than their current market value of £294m.

A spokesman for A&L said the bank was not permitted to write them down to that value at the moment, but analysts expect the charge to be taken in the first half of the year. Simon Maughan, banking analyst with MF Securities, said: 'A&L will be lucky to show any profit growth in 2008.'