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Contingent Liability Notification

Volume 639: debated on Thursday 26 April 2018

I can today confirm that I have laid a Treasury Minute informing the House of the contingent liability that HM Treasury has taken on in authorising the sale of a portfolio of Bradford & Bingley loans acquired during the financial crisis under the last Labour Government.

On this occasion, due to the sensitivities surrounding the commercial negotiation of this sale, it has not been possible to notify Parliament of the particulars of the liability in advance of the sale announcement.

The contingent liability includes certain remote fundamental market-standard warranties which are capped at 100% of the final sale price. The maximum contingent liability arising from these remote warranties is capped at the total consideration received, giving a maximum contingent liability of £5.3 billion. A separate set of fundamental market-standard warranties is capped at 20% of the final sale price, giving a maximum contingent liability of £1.1 billion. The fundamental warranties are considered to be so remote that they do not meet the definition of a contingent liability requiring disclosure under international financial reporting standards. However, they are disclosed as remote contingent liabilities under principles of parliamentary accountability.

Further market-standard time and valued capped warranties and indemnities confirming regulatory, legislative and contractual compliance have been provided to the purchasers. The maximum contingent liability arising is approximately £0.3 billion.

I will update the House of any further changes to Bradford & Bingley as necessary.