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Yorkshire BS signals interest in Northern Rock

Yorkshire Building Society has revealed it would be interested in bidding for Northern Rock plc when it is eventually put up for sale.

YBS chief executive Iain Cornish believes the state-backed bank should be remutualised.

Cornish says: “We think Northern Rock should be remutualised and there are a number of ways that can happen. But if it is going to be remututualised, we think we would be a credible potential partner.

“It has not yet been put up for sale, and therefore there is not yet an opportunity to formally express and interest, but if that happens we would want to look at that opportunity seriously.”

In August 1997, NR announced it was going to demutualise in order to gain access to cheaper money on the capital markets.

The bank was bailed out but the Bank of England in September 2007 following the collapse of the wholesale markets, on which it was almost entirely dependent for funding.

Last month, YBS agreed terms to take over Norwich & Peterborough Building Society.

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