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Britain's Lloyds enters private rental market

·1-min read
People walk past a branch of Lloyds Bank on Oxford Street in London

(Reuters) - British lender Lloyds Banking Group said on Wednesday it has launched its private rental business and aims to buy more than 1,000 residential properties by the end of next year.

Under the brand "Citra Living", Lloyds expects to have its first tenants within the next few weeks in Fletton Quays in Peterborough, the company said in a statement, adding that it plans to acquire around 400 properties by the year-end and double the target next year.

Andy Hutchinson, Citra managing director, told the Financial Times earlier in the day that Lloyds was in discussions about purchasing several other developments that are already under construction, though it hopes to build the bulk of its portfolio through partnerships to develop new sites from scratch.

The move into property rentals, which was reported by the FT earlier this year, highlights the pressure on retail banks to find new revenue sources as profit margins in their core businesses are squeezed by record-low interest rates.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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