Northern Rock has launched its first public securitisation issue in a deal which could raise some £370m. Northern Rock , which was nationalised after nearly collapsing during the credit crisis, said the size of the transaction was expected to represent around two per cent of its £18.6bn balance sheet – implying it could be worth roughly £370m. The retail and mortgage bank added that the cash raised would help diversify its funding base. 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 UK deficit and analysts consider an eventual sale likely.