Lloyds Banking Group is planning to become one of the UK’s biggest landlords, according to reports.
The banking giant is aiming to buy 50,000 homes in the next 10 years and charge tenants rent as a private landlord.
According to the Financial Times Lloyds has launched the Citra Living brand in an attempt to move into new streams of making money.
Lloyds is the biggest mortgage lender in the UK, providing nearly one in four home loans, but, with interest rates at historic lows for more than a decade, returns have been squeezed.
The new plans were first announced a month ago and will be managed through new brand Citra Living, according to the FT.
The paper said an internal job advertisement has set a “strategic challenge” of reaching 10,000 properties by the end of 2025, with a further aim to hit 50,000 by 2030.
Based on current property prices and rental estimates, this would create a portfolio worth £4 billion, generating pre-tax profits of around £300 million.
If the targets are hit, Citra will overtake the UK’s current largest private landlord, Grainger which has 9,100 properties worth around £2.1 billion.
Citra may consider “M&A (mergers and acquisitions) opportunities and/or strategic alliances” to help it reach the targets, the advert added.
Previously, the bank has been cautious on the potential for the new division, with finance chief William Chalmers saying expansion into the private rental market would be “on a limited basis while we explore the area”.
Several big name fund management groups and insurers have entered the private rental market in recent years, including Legal & General and M&G.
And retailer John Lewis recently announced plans to convert unused floor space in its department stores into rental homes.
The switch from small-scale private landlords follows changes in tax rules which mean buy-to-let mortgage payments are no longer tax deductible.
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.”