Clydesdale owner sells £625m of property loans

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National Australia Bank (NAB) has agreed to sell a £625 million package of commercial property loans to private equity firm Cerberus Global Investors.

The Clydesdale Bank owner said it would make a small gain on the sale of the loans, which are either in default or passed or nearing maturity.

The deal will help NAB reduce the gross loans balance on its UK commercial property portfolio by 20 per cent to £2.38 billion. The loan book was transferred from Clydesdale to its parent for run-off in 2012.

Andrew Thorburn, NAB’s incoming chief executive, said: “We’ve progressively reduced our exposure to UK commercial property loans through organic run-off.

“This sale represents a substantial de-risking of the non-performing portion of the NAB UK commercial real estate portfolio.”

While Thorburn said the group was “pleased with the acceleration of the run-off” in the loan book, Clydesdale continues to face a number of challenges, “in particular in relation to conduct-related costs”.

Clydesdale, which also owns Yorkshire Bank, has set aside funds to compensate customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance and complex interest rate swap products.