Bradford & Bingley may offer to take on the liabilities of IFA subsidiary Charcol as an incentive to pot- ential buyers.
The bank plans to sell off its IFA empire in a bid to slash £40m from its annual costs. Negotiations are expected to begin in earnest in the coming weeks after last Friday's deadline for bids.
B&B, in a strategy U-turn masterminded by new chief executive Steven Crawshaw, is preparing to offload all its non-core IFA busin-esses, including Charcol Holden Meehan and Aitchison & Colegrave.
Analysts say that B&B will not recoup the £100m it paid for the firm in 2000.
But Charcol insiders have argued that B&B has got great value from the business using its expertise to set up The Marketplace.
An offer to cover any potential liabilities could speed up a sale.
Charcol general manager Ricky Okey says: “That and other factors will be a point of discussion and negotiation once we get to the point of exclusivity.”