Bradford & Bingley to be nationalised

Struggling UK mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley is to be nationalised, the British government confirmed today.

But B&B’s savings and branch business – which has £20bn (€25bn) in deposits and 2.7 million customers – will be bought for £612m (€772m) by Santander, the Spanish bank which owns Abbey and has agreed to buy Alliance & Leicester.

B&B’s branches will remain open this morning as usual with call centres and internet banking also available, the UK Treasury said.

Bradford & Bingley shares were today suspended ahead of the expected nationalisation of the struggling mortgage lender.

The British Financial Services Authority’s move came as markets awaited official confirmation of the government’s plans.

The lender’s £41.3bn (€52.1bn) mortgage book is set to be added to the national debt just months after Northern Rock was also taken into public ownership.

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