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UKFI hires UBS banker to run down 'bad bank' loans

LONDON (Reuters) - The body charged with handling Britain's stakes in lenders has hired a senior banker from UBS to manage its holdings in the 'bad bank' books of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.

UK Financial Investments (UKFI) said Christopher Fox, who was UBS's head of UK banks coverage and head of the financial institutions group for the Middle East and Asia based in London, had joined on Monday.

The loan books of Northern Rock and B&B, both nationalized in 2008, are together called UK Asset Resolution (UKAR). UKAR is a 'zombie bank' that does not take new business, and still has to repay the government 43.4 billion pounds ($64.59 billion).

It paid back 4 billion pounds last year as customers repaid loans or the term of their mortgage ended, and has said it expects to repay all of the funds over the next decade.

Fox left UBS in March, a person familiar with the matter said.

Keith Morgan previously looked after the government's stakes in Northern Rock and B&B, but he left UKFI in 2012. UKFI did not immediately replace him, but has now done so as the government has said it is keen to start selling its Lloyds Banking Group , which is expected to occupy senior executives there.

($1 = 0.6719 British pounds)

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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