Alistair Darling has refuted claims the lastgovernment rejected advice which could have prevented the run on Northern Rock.
The former Labour Chancellor said it was an "academic question" of whether a takeover from Lloyds - aided by a Bank of England loan - could have prevented Northern Rock's collapse because such a rescue deal was never even tabled back in 2007, reports The Times.
Darling's comments come on the back of outgoing Financial Services Authority (FSA) chief executive Hector Sants saying the government refused to back a rescue deal which would have seen the Bank of England provide a £30bn loan to Lloyds to allow it to buy Northern Rock.
But according to the former Chancellor, Lloyds "never put an offer on the table" and, even if it had, the government would have had to open up the bidding to other potential buyers.
Northern Rock became the first casualty of Britain's credit crunch, requiring a tax-payer funded bailout. The bank was bought by Virgin Money last November.
Moves to overweight equities and fixed income
The Big Interview: Focus on ethical investment
View from the front row
'No control or oversight'
359 new customers in 2018