- banking - financial crisis - UK
The British government confirmed in a statement Monday that it was nationalising troubled bank Bradford and Bingley, as the global financial crisis claimed more victims in Europe.
B&B's savings business, which represents its best assets, will be sold to Spanish bank Santander, the Treasury added. Abbey National, the British bank owned by Santander, will pay 612 million pounds (773 million euros, 1.1 million dollars) in the deal.
"Today the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that... Bradford & Bingley's UK and Isle of Man retail deposit business along with its branch network has been transferred to Abbey National plc," the Treasury said.
"The remaineder of Bradford & Bingley's business will be taken into public ownership."
Bradford & Bingley is the second British bank to be nationalised this year after Northern Rock.
The move saw B&B become the latest casualty of the global financial crisis that has forced governments worldwide to intervene.
Hours before the deal was confirmed, US lawmakers agreed on the details of an unprecedented 700 billion dollar bailout for struggling Wall Street banks to avert the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
The Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg governments also mobilised to help troubled financial group Fortis on Sunday, agreeing to inject 11.2 billion euros, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said.
Over the weekend, officials from the Treasury, the Financial Services Authority watchdog and the Bank of England met to try to secure the future of B&B, which has also suffered from a prolonged property market downturn.