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Nationwide to rescue Dunfermline

Nationwide has stepped in to rescue troubled Scottish building society Dunfermline after the Government refused to bail out the mutual.

Nationwide will take on the Scottish mutual’s 34 branches, deposits and residential loans after it was revealed that Dunfermline had £26m of debts.

Dunfermline’s social housing portfolio will be transferred temporarily to DBS, a ‘bridge bank’ owned and controlled by the Bank of England.

Nationwide says the brand will remain; chief executive Graham Beale says: “This is good news for the members of Dunfermline who are now joining the world’s largest building society. As members of a solid, stable and dependable organisation, members of Dunfermline can be assured that their savings are safe.”

The deal, which was rushed through using the Treasury’s new powers enacted in the Banking Act, will see all 530 Dunfermline move over to the Nationwide.

The Bank of England says: “It is business as usual for all customers. Dunfermline’s deposit business will continue to operate normally.”

Last week, Dunfermline chairman Jim Faulds said on the BBC Scotland Politics Show accused the Government of “sacrificing” his building society after it said it would not bail out the mutual.

Faulds said: “We have been working night and day, tirelessly for the last six months, to get some common sense into this decision and we have failed – not because we don’t have common sense but because we cannot get the faceless mandarins in London who will not speak to us, to sit round the table and see we have a sustainable future.”

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