COVENTRY Building Society is putting together a bid for the loss-making “good bank” Northern Rock, the building society confirmed yesterday.
Coventry is a surprise addition to the potential list of acquirers for the nationalised mortgage lender, its branches and its deposits, which includes self-styled challenger banks Virgin Money, Tesco Bank, OneSavings Bank and NBNK Investments – the buy-out vehicle owned by Lord Levene.
In a statement in response to reports yesterday, Coventry Building Society said: “Our commitment to mutuality has helped deliver consistently superior financial performance and member value throughout the financial crisis. The board believes that these credentials would benefit Northern Rock customers if it were to be remutualised as part of Coventry Building Society.”
UK Financial Investments, the government entity administering Northern Rock, recently appointed Deutsche Bank to advise on privatising the lender.
Northern Rock was nationalised three years ago after becoming the first major British bank in more than 150 years to suffer a bank run.
The government has long been keen on returning the bank to the private sector, since selling Northern Rock would raise cash to cut the deficit.
Britain has not yet set a timetable for a possible sale of Northern Rock, and Coventry said it would take its next steps concerning Northern Rock once this was known.