Feeds

UK Treasury flogs Northern Rock to flirty Virgin

Nationalised bank offloaded in £747m cash deal

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Northern Rock was a major victim of 2008's credit crunch - but it survived with help from the then Labour government, which nationalised the Newcastle-based money outfit. Now the Tory-LibDem coalition is shoving it back into the corporate world.

Step forward bearded biz baron Sir Richard Branson, whose Virgin Money company has agreed a cash deal of £747m to take Northern Rock away from the command of taxpayers the Treasury.

"The sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money is an important first step in getting the British taxpayer out of the business of owning banks," thundered thin-lipped Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne.

"It represents value for money, will increase choice on the high street for customers, and safeguards jobs in the North East,” he added.

As part of the agreement, Virgin Money is not expected to make any compulsory redundancies for three years beyond the sackings already announced by Northern Rock. The deal also means Virgin Money will plonk its HQ in Newcastle.

As for the £50bn owed to taxpayers, who bailed out Northern Rock, the government assures us that the debt will continue to be repaid: this financial chicanery will be managed by the rather blandly named UK Asset Resolution Ltd. On top of the £747m deal, at least an extra £250m is promised to the government once the sale is done and dusted.

Terms and conditions for existing customers of the bank will remain the same, the government added.

In October 2007, Branson's Virgin Group was in talks to purchase Northern Rock after it was bailed out by the Bank of England. But that bid never materialised into a buyout. Instead Northern Rock was nationalised.

The Bank of England Governor Mervyn King blamed the 2008 Northern Rock crisis, which prompted the first cash run on a UK bank for more than 140 years, on then-chancellor Alistair Darling for failing to support a takeover bid. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.