Permanent TSB plans €6.9 billion UK mortgage disposal

Bloomberg reports that Permanent TSB is planning to sell its €6.9 billion UK residential mortgage loan book next year.

The newswire cites two unnamed people “with knowledge of the matter”.

The bank also intends to begin disposing of other parts of its €10 billion non-core unit, including its Irish subprime mortgages and commercial real-estate loans.

The sales are part of a restructuring proposal the bank submitted to European Union competition regulators in August.

Ireland’s largest mortgage lender at the peak of the property bubble, the bank needed a €4 billion taxpayer bailout in 2011. Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Masding, who took over in 2012, is still awaiting a verdict from European officials on his plans.

The government will push EU officials for progress on the blueprint before the final international bailout review is complete next week, according to Bloomberg.

Permanent TSB’s restructuring will be discussed as part of the review, according to the Department of Finance.

Antoine Colombani, spokesman for Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s commissioner with responsibility for competition, declined to comment on the specifics of the restructuring.

The bank scrapped the sale of its UK mortgage unit before Jeremy Masding took over, as it viewed offers for the mainly buy-to-let portfolio as too low. The bank is seeking to sell parts of the UK loan book in batches over the next three years.

Mr Masding said on August 29, as the lender posted a €449m first-half operating loss, that he’s optimistic the EU will back his restructuring plan by the end of the year.

While the CEO examined closing the bank as its loan losses soared, “any reasonable man would now say it’s still the least worst alternative to keep this going,” he said at that time.