Paper losses on commercial property 'would break the banks'

Paper losses on commercial property 'would break the banks'


According to industry pundits, banks are avoiding crystallising over £100 billion of paper losses on their commercial property portfolios as the figures could bring them to the brink of collapse.

Borrowers are also facing over £100 billion of equity wiped out, as since the beginning of last year property values have plummeted – dropping by twice as much as they did in the last recession in half the time.


It has been estimated that around £300 billion has been lent against UK property, including £50 billion of commercial mortgage-backed securities since the boom of the 1980s.


Barry Osilaja, director at the corporate finance division of global property consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle, has said: “Lenders cannot afford to own up to those losses now because it would break the banks.”


Although William Newsom, head of valuation at Savills UK has guessed that 75% of all loans are currently in breach of the LTV covenant, lenders are now realising that they must work with the borrowers in order to extend repayment periods, rather than call in the debt.


Around £42 billion of commercial property loans are thought to be due for repayment this year, with Mr Osilaja confirming: “There is not enough equity available in the market to solve the problem.”

Leave a comment