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December 28, 2007    

Northern Rock investors decide against ousting chairman

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by Kay Mitchell

Bryan Sanderson, Northern Rock’s chairman, has won the support of the banks two biggest investors who have decided against ousting him.

Hedge funds RAB Capital and SRM Global, the bank’s major shareholders, have said they don’t want to ‘destabilise’ the bank any further.

An emergency meeting for shareholders is to be held on 15 January 2008 to discuss its sale process and could have been used to oust Sanderson whose appointment will have to be supported by shareholders.

So far, there are 2 main bidders for the bank who include a consortium led by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Olivant, run by Luqman Arnold, former Abbey chief executive.

It is also believed that Bradford & Bingley had approached Northern Rock about buying its assets. The buy-to-let specialist is not looking to buy Northern Rock in its entirety but could possibly do a deal with either of the consortia seeking to rescue the firm.

A poll issued this week by the Guardian newspaper said that the Northern Rock crisis has hit wider confidence in the banking system, with nearly half of respondents saying they are less confident about bank security.

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