National Australia Bank (NAB) has received bids for around half its remaining UK commercial real estate (CRE) loan portfolio, according to an Australian report.

Cerberus Capital Management, which outbid two other specialist private equity buyers for the first tranche of the loan book in July, is said to be in the running again with three other bidders, including CarVal investors and PIMCO who were involved in the previous auction.

A £1billion tranche of loans is said to be poised for sale, possibly this week, out of the remaining £2.1billion portfolio, spread across the UK. Of 560 smaller loans below £2m, around two-thirds are said to be outside the heartland of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks.

In July 2012 NAB removed CRE loans valued at £5.6bn from the balance sheets of its two UK banks as it began to clean them up for a sale. The July sale saw £625m of loans sold for an undisclosed price, rumoured to be £485m, a 22 per cent discount.

Reporting at the end of October NAB said it would be further accelerating the loan run-off. Last month the Melbourne-based group said it was now looking at a possible flotation of the two banks, and was recently said to have appointed bankers to advise on the process.

The NAB Customer Support Group has questioned how small businesses will be treated by new owners of their loans. NAB, which has not commented on the report, has said it is "committed to maintaining constructive dialogue with customers throughout the remaining loan term".