Socialist Worker

Northern Rock: Richard Branson bags millions

Issue No. 2279

The government will hand over part of the Northern Rock bank to Richard Branson’s Virgin firm.

It’s estimated that the deal will give Branson, a convicted fraudster, around £400 million.

Chancellor George Osborne claimed he had got “the best possible deal for the taxpayer”.

But the government has sold the bank at a loss and remains saddled with debt.

Branson will “pay” £747 million for Northern Rock. But this includes £250 million of “excess capital” Branson hopes to squeeze from the bank itself.

Labour split the bank into Northern Rock plc and Northern Rock (Asset Management).

The second one holds the bad debt—and owes the government £21 billion.

This is the part the government has kept.

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Tue 22 Nov 2011, 18:25 GMT
Issue No. 2279
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