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not a nut
1,629 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another one bites the dust, this one in the UK.


Troubled bank Bradford & Bingley, which has seen its share price crash, is to be nationalised, the BBC has learned.

Officials from the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have been in talks with executives from the bank in a bid to secure its future.

BBC News business editor Robert Peston says the Treasury will then speedily sell B&B's 200 branches and its savings business to a bank or number of banks.

But the British Bankers Association is unhappy at some aspects of the plan.

'Difficult choices'

Association chief executive Angela Knight told BBC Five Live she was not happy the taxpayer was having to take on the liability of B&B as well as Northern Rock.

She said: "I'm not comfortable with that, I don't know anybody who is comfortable with that. There's a series of difficult choices here.

"The financial services industry underpins, not just the UK economy, but indeed all of us individually, and there can be times where authorities have to step in."

She added that it was a "very great shame that it's got to this place".

But our business editor said that B&B was getting "perilously close to a funding crisis... there had to be a solution".

Loans nationalised

B&B's share price has plummeted and it has announced plans to cut 370 jobs due to a downturn in the mortgage market.

The bank will be nationalised using special legislation the Treasury put through when it took Northern Rock into public ownership earlier this year.

The measure is expected be announced on Sunday night or Monday morning.

The Treasury and FSA will negotiate with banks interested in buying parts of B&B. Possible buyers included Santander of Spain, HSBC and Barclays.

Santander, which already owns Abbey and Alliance & Leicester, has been looking at B&B for some time.

B&B's £50bn of loans, including £41bn of home mortgages, will not be sold and will be nationalised on a long-term basis. The mortgages may be given to the nationalised Northern Rock to manage.

The bank experienced significant withdrawals of cash from its branches and online bank on Saturday amid customer concerns about its situation.

'Less vulnerable'

The Treasury's decision to sell B&B's savings business means depositors and savers' money should be safe.

"In terms of UK banking problems, the nationalisation of Bradford and Bingley should be the last of the banking accidents here," our business correspondent said.

He said there was a class of bank that had relied heavily on the mortgage market - Northern Rock, HBOS, and B&B - and which had now either been nationalised or taken over.

"The remaining banks have much broader bases, they are less vulnerable," he added.

However, B&B's shareholders and holders of its subordinated debt may lose out.

Our business editor says the nationalisation and break-up of B&B represents a momentous event in the history of British banking.

He said: "It will mean that every building society that floated on the stock market in the wave of demutualisations of the past two decades will either have collapsed or been sold to a conventional bank."

B&B was close to seeing a demand from depositors for the return of billions of pounds, which it would have been unable to find.

Credit rating agencies had been downgrading the rating of its covered bonds, a form of funding which involves packaging up mortgages for sale to investors.

Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable said: "There doesn't seem to have been a white knight in the offing. The alternative otherwise was just to let the thing go bust and protect the depositors".

Bradford & Bingley spokesman Tony McGarahan said discussions were taking place and an announcement would be made before the stock market opened on Monday.

"We can assure customers that their deposits are safe with Bradford & Bingley," he said.

Anyone out there see this one coming?


AKA The Dragon
2,818 Posts
Not specifically, but we are seeing a domino effect.

Watchin tha world go by
8,151 Posts
not a domino effect ------

a consolidation move, of financial control into the hands of govts ---- disguised as a domino effect

create or find a problem--- and solve the problem in a way that leaves the population dependent on govt

as in --- great depression-- govt expansion, poverty -- welfare plantation
terrorism--govt security and surveillance, now financial meltdown --

control not problem solving is the desire, and end result
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33 Posts
I can completely agree with Mongoose. What with camera being posted at traffic lights, and now this "Real ID" That I keep hearing about on the news, it's starting to look like I might want to find an unknown cave in some midwestern state and live life as a hermit.
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