英伦广角British Vision(127):英房贷巨头国有化

B&B Bank 'To Be Nationalised'

Bradford and Bingley is to be nationalised and an announcement will be made before the markets open, Sky News has learned. Savers have been told their money is safe - but what about staff, shareholders and taxpayers? Joel Hills reports.

It’s a High Street name in need of rescuing, but talks to find a private buyer have run out of time. Santander was interested in some of Bradford & Bingley’s assets, but wouldn’t be rushed into a weekend deal. The government has decided, the taxpayer has to step in.

Bradford&Bingley has been in trouble for some time, just look at how its share price collapsed in the last 12 months. On Friday, shares were being bought and sold for just 20 pence.

A crisis of confidence was brewing but the opposition insists nationalization is not the answer.

We should have a situation in Britain, where we have the ability for the Bank of England to take over failing bank and to reconstruct it, safeguarding the depositors and then making sure that those bits of the businesses can be sold are sold. And in the end, the bill affectively is picked up…

Not by the tax payers who I want to protect. Thank you for the..., So a bank is sold for…

The government maintains it will act in the best interests of savers and taxpayers.

This is not simply a problem for the United Kingdom, this is a global crisis. We have taken tough decisive action to sort out the situation and I am confident that in due course, there will be a statement from the Treasury about Bradford&Bingley, I am not going to add to the speculation.

The message for Bradford&Bingley’s 2.5 million savers is your money (is) safe, although you may find yourselve suddenly banking with someone else, retail deposits are likely to be sold on to the likes of Santander, HSBC and Barclays.

What happens next to Bradford&Bingley’s 3000 staff isn’t clear. 370 redundancies were announced earlier in the week with the branch network also said to be flogged off. More job losses look likely.

For the rest of us, the news is not that encouraging. Bradford&Bingley has written 41 billon pounds of mortgages; those loans are now turning bad at twice the average industry rate. In a falling housing market, no bank is likely to be interested, the really toxic stuff is likely to left with the taxpayer.

The result of this breakup is that yet another mortgage provider has disappeared from the market, and less competition could well make mortgages scarcer and more expensive.

Until now, banks and building societies have either been nationalized or taken over when they run into trouble. But some feel the government shouldn’t be bailing out individual banks, it’s the banking system that needs saving.

We have a business models and our banking system that don’t work anymore. You know, unless we do something comprehensive, unless we really look this in the eye that the Americans have done, I really fear for what’s gonna happen in the next kind of two, three, four, five months.

There're reports that the British banks have asked government to arrange a rescue package similar to the one that’s being flushed out in the United States. The suggestion is that Bradford&Bingley isn’t the only British bank in trouble.

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