The City regulator will accelerate efforts to broker a potential takeover of Bradford & Bingley once the mortgage lender’s crisis-hit rights issue is completed.

The Financial Services Authority is understood to have signalled to major lending banks and prospective bidders that it wants to resolve the immediate uncertainty surrounding the future of B&B, Britain’s biggest buy-to-let mortgage firm, by successfully completing its £400m capital-raising.

B&B’s rights issue has twice had to be redrafted following a profit warning and the subsequent withdrawal of TPG, the US private equity firm.

Under the latest arrangement, Britain’s six largest banks are helping to guarantee the share offering, although some, including Barclays and Lloyds TSB, have indicated that they are unlikely to pursue an outright takeover.

Sunday Telegraph