UPDATE 1-Barclays shuts U.S. mortgage arm EquiFirst

Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:52pm GMT

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NEW YORK/LONDON Feb 17 (Reuters) - Barclays Plc (BARC.L) has shut its U.S. mortgage origination business EquiFirst less than two years after buying the business, the British bank said on Tuesday.

The bank said it was shutting EquiFirst due to tough market conditions, but said it remained committed to its other mortgage businesses in the United States.

Barclays bought the subprime lender in March 2007 for $76 million, about two-third less than its original offer for the business after the U.S. housing crisis erupted. In August that year it cut jobs due to the U.S. housing slump and it has slimmed further since. (Reporting by Steve Slater, editing by Will Waterman)

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