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Alliance & Leicester has funding in place until end of 2008

Alliance & Leicester has updated its November pre-close trading statement and says it now has enough funding in place until the end of 2008.

It had previously said in November that it had funding up until quarter three this year.

The lender also announced that its group chief executive David Bennett is on temporary leave of absence due to an abdominal illness. It has appointed group finance director Chris Rhodes as acting chief executive.

Rhodes will also continue his role as group finance director.

The lender says that its 2007 core-operating profit, excluding the changes in the fair value and impairment of Treasury investments, is expected to be ahead of the figure of £598m for 2007, compared with £585m in 2006.

But the statement says that the reduction in the fair value and impairment of Treasury investments, which totalled a charge of £55m at the end of October, has increased to around £185m for the year ended 31 December 2007.

Its total Treasury impairment charge for the year ended 31 December 2007 is
expected to be around £155m, of which £145m relates to SIVs and £10m to CDOs.

The post-tax charge to reserves for the year ended 31 December 2007 is expected to be around £147m. A&L says that this charge does not have an impact on its income statement or its regulatory capital.

At the end of December 2007, 56 per cent of its customer loans and advances were funded by customer deposits.

Acting chief executive Chris Rhodes says: ‘Our customer-facing Retail and Commercial Bank businesses continue to perform well. Excluding the impact of Treasury investment losses, core operating profit for 2007 will be over £598m. Financial market conditions have resulted in losses on certain Treasury investments, reducing 2007 core operating profit to lowerthan in 2006.

“Our funding position continues to improve, and we have now pre-funded our maturing medium-term wholesale funding, commercial paper and certificates of deposit to the end of 2008.’

The lender will be announcing its preliminary results on 20 February.

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