Maybe it's the whole mutually owned green ethical thing which doesn't fit the narrative, so it's difficult to report on? Apparently the Labour party owes it £4 million so the request for repayment of that may generate some news interest.
Interesting about the labour party thing. Wonder if, were a bailout needed down the line, Osborne & co would refuse it until Labour had paid up thus leaving them skint as we head towards the General Election in 2015.
Banks are sitting on a lot of bad debt. But low interest rates, government schemes and bank forbearance (extending loans, mortgage holidays, switching from repayment to interest only) have prevented the loses being crystallised. I had read that commercial property prices had really fallen (sorry cant find link atm) and apparently the Coop's commercial property portfolio have been badly hit.
Exactly MoreBeta - a lot of the property deals have been "restructured" which often just means kicking the can down the road a bit there hasn't yet been the sort of shakedown here that they're having in Ireland where there's now a "bad bank" and lots of litigation over various collapsed property empires.
I suspect that govt have strongly encouraged the forbearance in the hope that the economy (and property values) will pick up a bit soon, Elenor - if there was more of a crystallisation/correction then the economy would become shocked and slide further. Thus playing further into the hands of the right wing nasties <shudder>
I find it quite ironic that in the clamour to make the banks 'pay' for what they've done and ensure history doesn't repeat itself that the new rules seem to be causing huge problems for a bank whose staked it's reputation on it's ethical credentials and has no casino style investment arm.
ElenorRigby - yes the Britannia problems are in commercial property and as a friend of mine says who organises multi million pound commercial property mortgages there is a 50% drop in commercial property prices in the North and Midlands. I do not know the situation Britanna is facing but in general the banks absolutely cannot afford to take the hit on bad commercial property loans.
I heard that the these bad commercial property loans are being stacked up in special off balance sheet property vehicles all over the banking system.
What happens is the bad loan is rolled over but the interest rate is set very low so the interest on the new loan can still be paid by the rental income so that it suddenly is transformed into a 'good loan' even though the original loan defaulted and the property is worth far less than the capital value of owed.