Northern Rock to be nationalised

Alistair Darling, the British chancellor of the exchequer, has announced that Northern Rock will be put into public ownership - the first nationalisation of a sizeable British bank for 25 years.

Ron Sandler, who has been appointed as the new executive chairman of the embattled lender, said it would be "business as usual" with all branches open and customers able to deposit and withdraw money.

All government guarantees would remain in place, Sandler said, adding that the bank will be returned

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