Bradford & Bingley, the nationalised lender, conceded yesterday that it would take some years to run down its £42.2bn loan book and said it would consider disposing of assets to achieve that end.

Publishing its 10-year business plan, B&B said it recognised that its loan book might be slow to run down because some existing borrowers have high loan-to-value ratios or hold buy-tolet mortgages and so cannot refinance easily with other mortgage lenders.

The lender, nationalised last September, said that without any asset sales its £41.9bn residential mortgage book would shrink by only £5.6bn by the end of 2011.

Financial Times