Britain nationalizes mortgage lender Northern Rock
Sun Feb 17
Britain said on Sunday it will nationalize ailing mortgage lender Northern Rock (NRK.L) for a temporary period as it was not in the taxpayer's best interests to sell it to the private sector now.
"In the current market conditions we do not believe the two proposals deliver sufficient value for money for the taxpayer," Finance minister Alistair Darling told a news conference.
"So the government has decided to bring forward legislation to bring Northern Rock into a temporary period of public ownership."
A consortium led by billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group (VA.UL) had been the front-runner, ahead of an offer led by the bank's management team. Both were told last week to improve their offers because neither offered taxpayers a good enough deal.
(Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by David Clarke)