Bank of Ireland will shrink new mortgage lending in the UK by up to 80% – making home loans even scarcer – at a time when the government is trying to revive lending to homeowners and small businesses.

BoI, which was included in the Irish government’s bank bail-out last month, will stop selling mortgages through independent brokers in the UK and will sharply reduce its new lending in the country to help shrink its balance sheet.

The move could lead to the loss of up to 600 jobs at processing centres in Reading and Solihull. In future, the bank, which also operates under the Bristol & West brand, will sell home loans only through its 44 Northern Ireland branches and through its joint venture with the UK Post Office.

Financial Times