19 Nov 2011

Northern Rock being sold

9:25 am on 19 November 2011

The British government has announced Northern Rock is being sold to Virgin Money for £747 million.

The bank was nationalised in 2008 after almost collapsing at the onset of the global credit crunch.

Northern Rock will be rebranded as Virgin Money.

The bank currently employs 2500 people, down from 5,500 when it was nationalised.

After the nationalisation, the government split the bank into two, Northern Rock plc, and Northern Rock (Asset Management), into which was placed its bad debt.

The government said Northern Rock customers would see no change to their accounts and services.

The BBC's business editor said taxpayers had injected £1.4 billion into Northern Rock.

A savings and mortgage bank, Northern Rock has more than 70 branches.

The bank was formed in 1997 when the former Northern Rock Building Society floated on the London Stock Exchange. It was delisted following its nationalisation.

Virgin Money is part of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group.