Bradford & Bingley is writing off bad loans at 22 times the rate it was in 2007, the nationalised bank revealed yesterday.

The buy-to-let specialist said that losses on the loans soared to £508 million last year, compared with £22.5m in 2007. It had adopted a more conservative stance on loan valuation since its bailout by the Government in September.

In its annual report released yesterday, the bank said that its mortgage book had deteriorated sharply, with 4.6% of accounts now at least three months in arrears compared with 1.6% in 2007. The bank said that it still expected to repay in full all cash injections from the taxpayer. Richard Pym, its chief executive, said: 'While 2008 was a turbulent year for banks and Bradford & Bingley in particular, the restructuring we are undertaking will, we expect, ultimately repay the taxpayer and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme [FSCS] in full.'

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph