FSA puts pressure on top five banks to support Bradford & Bingley

Times Online- The Financial Services Authority took the unprecedented step of pressuring Britain’s five biggest banks into supporting the revised rescue capital-raising at Bradford & Bingley last week, The Times has learnt. HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Lloyds TSB and HBOS are understood to have each agreed to sub-underwrite £20 million-worth of the reworked £258 million rights issue.

The banks agreed to step in when Citigroup and UBS, the lead underwriters, could find no one to whom they could lay off some of the risk. Underwriters typically pass on some of the risk to institutions known as sub-underwriters. The FSA, worried that too much Bradford & Bingley stock would be left with UBS and Citigroup, which are already under pressure, decided in the middle of last week to ask the big five to take some of the risk.

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