Bradford & Bingley lost £196m (US$295.4m) last year as result of buy-to-let fraud and bad debt. The former building society was nationalized by the UK government at the height of the credit crunch in September 2008, when it also sold its savings business to Spanish banking giant Santander. But B&B boss Richard Banks said the result was £71m better than feared. Losses in 2009 were mostly due to its exposure to the buy-to-let mortgage market. Repossessions rose from 1,503 to 2,892, while write-downs on bad loans almost doubled to £884m. The fraud mainly related to over-valuations made on buy-to-let properties at the height of the property boom.

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