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Government sells Northern Rock to Virgin Money

Friday 18th November 2011

The Government has announced that it is selling Northern Rock to Virgin Money.

It said the deal represented a significant step in returning public sector stakes in banks to the private sector - adding that the sale was in the best interests of the taxpayer, secured the long-term future of the company and would increase competition in the banking sector.

This is part of the Government's wider strategy for the banking sector with safer ring-fenced banks and more competition for customers.

The Government will receive £747million in cash on closing of the sale, with potential in the future to receive over £1billion in total, it said.

The sale will not affect current customers of Northern Rock, who will carry on their banking as usual. They do not need to take any action and can continue to operate their accounts and contact Northern Rock as they do now. There are no changes to their terms and conditions as a result of this announcement.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said: "The sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money is an important first step in getting the British taxpayer out of the business of owning banks. It represents value for money; will increase choice on the high street for customers; and safeguards jobs in the North East."

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Mike Jones

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