UK: Northern Rock Account For 10Pct Of Repossessions

Nationalised mortgage lender Northern Rock expects to be responsible for 10% of all repossessions this year, analysts say.

Gary Hoffman, the new chief executive, admitted some customers were in such difficulty that they handed back the keys to their homes without discussion with the lender. One third of all the homes it had repossessed were "voluntary", said Hoffman.

The bank's repossession rate is running at three times the industry average and is largely caused by its controversial Together loans, essentially mortgages of 125% of the value of a property.

While Together loans represent just under 30% of Northern Rock's mortgage book, they account for 50% of its arrears and around 75% of all repossessions.

Together loans are presumably named after the fact that they take the house together with the contents, the car, the kids...