Bank diversifies

Lloyds to become housing landlord in rental move

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds is already the UK’s biggest mortgage provider (pic: Terry Murden)

Lloyds Banking Group, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, is planning to become one of the country’s largest landlords by acquiring 50,000 homes by the end of the decade.

The bank has launched Citra Living in a move to meet demand for private rental housing across the country.

However, it is thought the move into the private rental sector is also designed to add a new strand of income, and follows similar plans by retail giant John Lewis Partnership to diversify its business into the sector. Legal & General and M&G are also moving in that direction.

A job advertisement from Citra Living outlines some long-term targets including a ‘strategic challenge’ to own 10,000 properties by the end of 2025, with another 40,000 coming by 2030.

This would make it a larger company than Grainger, the country’s biggest private residential landlord, and give it an estimated balance sheet of £4 billion and £300 million in pre-tax profit, according to the FT. 

It has already purchased 45 flats at the Fletton Quays development in Peterborough as part of a separate target to acquire 400 homes this year followed by the same amount in 2022.

Citra may consider “M&A opportunities and/or strategic alliances” to help it reach the targets, the advert added. 

A Lloyds spokeswoman said: ‘As highlighted at launch, Citra Living will initially start small, with a focus on buying and renting good-quality, newly-built properties. This will be achieved by working alongside leading housebuilders to address the increasing demand for rental properties.

‘The aim is to gradually provide incremental stock to the UK rental market over the coming years.’ 

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