Government to assess Northern Rock bidders

The Government has put out a statement, together with the Bank of England and Financial Services Authority, to reiterate that any potential purchaser of Northern Rock or part of its assets “should not assume that the current Bank of England loan facilities will be available beyond either any sale or the expiry of the facilities in February.”

However, the tripartite authority led by the Treasury, added that it is “willing to discuss any proposals made”.

The group concluded that “any proposal that envisages an ongoing role for the Authorities, beyond their usual statutory and regulatory functions, will be evaluated on its merits against the Authorities’ stated objectives.”

If the Government continues to provide funding beyond February, six months after the first Bank of England loan was made, then it could contravene EU rules concerning state aid.