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The landlord turns lender

By Andy Davis   211

If Britain’s disgraced bankers could undo just one of the errors that led their industry into crisis, I suspect it would be their fatal enthusiasm for lending against commercial property at “courageous” levels, compared to the value of the property. More than anything else it is the dead weight of failed commercial mortgages in deep negative equity that has crippled the banks.

Although London and the southeast have fared better, the values of offices, shops, industrial buildings and tenanted accommodation in most areas remain well below pre-crisis peaks. This is partly because there is now little appetite among banks to…

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