If giants such as Northern Rock have experienced trouble in recent times, is it possible for the last stand-alone mortgage lender, Bradford & Bingley, to weather the credit crunch storm?

Now that Alliance & Leicester was taken over officially by Santander last week, it is now the last stand alone mortgage lender in the UK.

To save Bradford & Bingley from problems, the FSA is proposing rescuers to put contingency plans in place.  The bank is worth around £400 million and has assets worth £52 billion, which would be broken up and sold in the case of difficulties.  Potential rescuers include HSBC, the National Australia Bank or Santander.

Bradford & Bingley is the UK’s leading provider of specialist residential mortgages and also offers savings products, and is a large buy-to-let loans specialist.  Mortgage arrears have risen slightly, but they have done so with all banks recently.

The bank certainly sounds like a strong bank and is well capitalised, in fact, it is one of the most capitalised banks in the UK.  However, panic is one of the main factors in any bank’s downfall so it might only take a little panic to make B&B the next victim of a merger.  B&B deny being in talks about its future and says it is strong enough to make it through.

It certainly seems the mortgage market is changing and for those who will qualify as mortgage advisors in the next year or so, their services will be in demand as people rush to make sure they have the best interest rate and mortgage deal they can get.

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