Banks to take BES route

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NATIONAL Westminster and Barclays banks are both to offer pounds 25m property business expansion schemes, writes Neasa MacErlean.

Barclays' scheme, to be unveiled on Wednesday, is aimed at reducing the size of its repossessions book. Investors will be able to put between pounds 2,000 and pounds 40,000 into the scheme, which will collect funds to buy 500 repossessed properties from the bank.

So far this financial year about pounds 600m has been invested in the property market through BES schemes. Subscription lists on the NatWest offer will open on 8 March.