FT: UK banks may swap US$175 billion of assets


LONDON — Britain’s banks are set to swap between 80 billion and 90 billion pounds (US$175 billion) of mortgage-backed assets for Treasury bills, nearly twice the base level set by the Bank of England last month, the Financial Times reported Friday.

The British Bankers’ Association said details of which banks were accessing the facility were confidential, but a spokesman said “it wouldn’t be surprising” if banks were accessing more funds as there were still strains in the market.

“All of the banks are planning to use this facility,” an industry source said. “The reports in the market at the time were that it would be 50 billion to 100 billion, so this doesn’t feel unexpected.”