Chancellor Philip Hammond has triggered the sale of £11.8bn worth of Bradford & Bingley loans bought during the financial crisis.
The Government said the funds would be sold to Prudential and Blackstone and delivered “value for money” for the taxpayer reports The Telegraph.
Mr Hammond said: “The sale of these Bradford & Bingley assets for £11.8bn marks another major milestone in our plan to get taxpayers’ money back following the financial crisis.
“We are determined to return the financial assets we own to the private sector and today’s sale is further proof of the confidence investors have in the UK economy.”
There will be no changes to the terms and conditions of the loans sold and borrowers do not need to take any action, the Treasury said.
UK Asset Resolution manages the closed loan books of Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock, which were bought by the Government at the height of the financial crisis. The body has been steadily selling off assets, and its balance sheet now stands at £22bn, down from £116bn in 2010.
Ian Hares, UKAR chief executive, said: “This sale of assets is a significant milestone… The transaction delivers against our overarching objective to develop and execute divestment strategies which protect and maximise value for the taxpayer whilst treating customers fairly.”
The sale is expected to be completed by 2017/18, with any further sales being made subject to market conditions, the Government added.
At the same time, the Government has been selling down its stakes in high-street giants Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, also acquired during the crisis. Its holding in the former is now below 5 per cent, with the Government set to exit the bank later this year.
The turnaround at RBS has been slower, however, with the taxpayer still owning 73 per cent of the bank.