A consortium led by Richard Branson's Virgin Group is reported to have put forward a proposal to rescue Northern Rock.
The consortium, which includes insurance firm AIG and Hong Kong based First Eastern Investment, says the bank would remain listed on the stock market but would be rebranded as Virgin Money.
Virgin has not revealed how much it would pay for the troubled bank’s shares or what stake it is hoping to take.
Branson is reported as saying the consortium would inject substantial funds into the bank, which owes the Bank of England around £12bn, and would offer a new banking alternative. The consortium said the business would be kept intact and retain links with its charitable foundation, the Northern Rock Foundation.
Virgin says it plans to help build the bank's deposit base in order to give it a more sustainable future, most likely as a balance sheet lender.
Should Branson’s consortium succeed, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, head of Virgin’s financial services, is expected to run the business.
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