October 4, 2016 / 1:02 PM / a year ago

British government restarts sale of Bradford & Bingley loans

LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The British government has resumed the sale of a failed bank's 15.65 billion pound ($20 billion) mortgage portfolio after it was delayed in the aftermath of the country's vote to leave the European Union, sources familiar with the sale said on Tuesday.

UK Asset Resolution, which is selling off the Bradford & Bingley loans, is planning to send out non-disclosure agreements to prospective bidders this week, the sources said.

This comes after the government put on hold plans to sell stakes in bailed-out banks Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and the Bradford & Bingley mortgage book in the aftermath of the Brexit vote because of market volatility.

"We have received the necessary approvals and can confirm that we have launched the first phase of a program of asset sales," UK Asset Resolution said in a statement.

"This process remains commercially sensitive and there is nothing more we can say at this time."

The government has so far only managed to recoup just over half of the 133 billion pounds it spent rescuing the banks.

Bradford & Bingley said last month it would borrow almost 3 billion pounds from the UK Treasury to replace expensive existing debts, paving the way for its sale to resume by making its assets more appealing.

There is no indication yet when the government will be able to resume selling its stakes in RBS and Lloyds.

The Treasury currently owns 73 percent of RBS and 9 percent of Lloyds.

$1 = 0.7849 pounds Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Mark Potter

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