Hypo Real Estate, the German lender nationalised as a result of the financial crisis, plans to create what could be the country’s biggest 'bad bank', spinning off up to €210bn of assets in a step towards an anticipated return to private ownership.

The proposal would cut the bank’s balance sheet by more than half and would pass unwanted assets such as state bonds and nonperforming property loans into a government-backed vehicle to be wound down over a number of years.

Germany’s government has backed the creation of so-called bad banks as a way to help stricken institutions get rid of unwanted assets and avoid writedowns that would further impair balance sheets.

Financial Times