Private sale still hoped for Northern Rock

| December 20, 2007 | 0 Comments

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has denied suggestions that he ignored warnings that Northern Rock was in trouble and said the Government is doing everything in its power to secure the future of the crisis-torn bank. Mr Brown, along with the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, also denied any rift with the Bank of England’s Governor, Mervyn King.

Mr Brown added that the Government is not ruling anything out and a sale to a private company is the best option but nationalisation is not being ruled out. Mr Brown is facing calls to nationalise the bank, whose rescue package from taxpayers is now estimated at £57 billion.

On Tuesday, the British Bankers Association (BBA) said the possibility of the firm being nationalised was not ‘a happy proposition’.

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

Earlier this week, it was rumoured 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.

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