US banks join forces to buy £13bn of Northern Rock assets

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Citigroup has reportedly joined a bid for £13bn-worth of mortgage assets owned by UK taxpayers.

Sky News reports that Citi has joined forces with Goldman Sachs and units of Blackstone, TPG Capital and New York-based hedge fund Och-Ziff for mortgage securitisation vehicle Granite, which is now part of UK Asset Resolution.

UKAR is the holding company established to bring together the Government-owned businesses of Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock Asset Management, supporting around 389,000 customers with over £50bn of loans.

It is not yet clear what the terms of the deal are and the US bank declined to comment on the story when asked to by Sky News.

The sale process is expected to start within the next few weeks, says the news organisation.

The granite securitisation programme was started by Northern Rock in 2001 and allowed it to fund its mortgage book by selling securities to institutional investors. At 31 January it held £13.2bn of mortgages funded by £9bn of securities, the remaining balance being funded by NRAM.