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Bradford & Bingley and Barclays in battle over buy-to-let

Bradford & Bingley and Barclays are embroiled in a buy-to-let row after Barclays chief executive Matt Barrett launched a barrage against risky BTL lending.

Barrett accused rivals of rushing into the BTL sector to increase their market share despite its risks.

B&B is the biggest BTL lender in the UK through its Mortgage Express subsidiary and B&B chief executive Christopher Rodrigues hit back at Barrett&#39s claims.

He says the vast majority of BTL clients borrow only between 75 and 85 per cent of a property&#39s value, which makes them less risky than first-time buyers who sometimes borrow over 100 per cent of a property&#39s value.

B&B, which has between 20-25 per cent of the BTL market, says the attack is extraordinary given that Barclays&#39 Woolwich subsidiary had 10 per cent of the BTL market last year.

Rodrigues says: “You can see from monthly figures from the CML that arrears&#39 experience is lower in buy-to-let than in owner-occupied houses. Our experience is the same – buy to let customers have a better credit performance. All the big players are in the buy to let market – it is not just B&B.”

Barrett says: “We have avoided rushing into buy to let mortgages or dizzying income multiples. There is an awful lot of business being written that is value-destroying. We can afford to be selective and we do not need to do dumb things.”

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