NatWest RBS selling £550m of distressed retail loans
RBS has past form with non-performing loans (pic: Terry Murden)
NatWest group, formerly Royal Bank of Scotland, has appointed PwC to seek buyers of a £550m portfolio of loans secured against 25 mainly shopping centre assets.
Bank observers will note that it was one of the biggest sellers of non-performing loans (NPLs) following the 2008 financial crash.
Peter Cosmetatos, chief executive of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, the trade association for European lenders, told Property Week: “I would be very surprised if this were the only NPL [non-performing loan] portfolio brought to market over the coming months.
“The pandemic has accelerated major structural change across most of commercial real estate and there will be many loans that need to be repriced, most obviously among those secured on retail, leisure and hospitality assets.”
The appointment of advisers comes after a series of deals by online operators who have picked up high street brands but not their stores which will be closed and left to find new occupants.
Boohoo today added from Arcadia brands Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis to the Debenhams business, forcing another 214 shops on to a flooded real estate market.