I got a reply today from Lloyds HBOS in answer to my questions over their sale of 218 Halifax Estate Agency branches, as recently sold for less than the price of a sandwich in their staff canteen. Not to mention the small matter of the token bung of circa £36 million to the buyer.

The detail surrounding the fire sale is ‘confidential’, they say. So that’s that then?

I wonder how they would react should the shoe be on the other foot? The next time Lloyds or its stable of tax payer owned brands asks you why you are overdrawn or why you want a loan, simply tell them it’s none of their business?

Their predictable reaction will be the same as ours should be over such a seemingly unjustifiable waste of public money. Scornful to say the least.

If Halifax EA was the albatross around its corporate neck that they say it was, why not just put the thing into liquidation and save us all £36m? If it had a positive balance sheet value preventing such a route, then why was it sold for so little in the first place?

Incidentally, estate agency businesses are already beginning to report profits again, Savills and Connells to name just two in the past week or so.

I bet they’re worth more than a quid….

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