Bradford & Bingley may be nationalised: reports

LONDON, September 27, 2008 (AFP) – British mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley, which has been hit by a housing downturn and weakness in the wider economy, may be nationalised, newspapers reported Saturday.

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The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail newspapers both reported, citing unnamed sources, that government ministers were considering a nationalisation of the troubled bank, little more than a year after the collapse of Northern Rock, which was eventually nationalised earlier this year.

A spokesman for the bank told the Telegraph, however, that it was “fully funded and we are one of the strongest capitalised banks in the UK.”

“As far as the febrile speculation goes, we do not comment on market rumours.”

Bradford & Bingley announced on Thursday that it was cutting 370 jobs, mainly at its mortgage processing centre near London, in a bid to save 15 million pounds (18.9 million euros, 27.8 million dollars).

A newspaper report last weekend said that Britain’s Financial Services Authority was in secret negotiations to facilitate the bank’s acquisition.

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