Old Lady could get more privacy under new rules

The Bank of England could soon be able to rescue troubled lenders in secret as a result of the recent Northern Rock crisis.

According to Friday's Financial Times Alistair Darling, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, is considering changes to the "Takeover Code" which will allow the Bank to arrange white knight deals on improved terms in a matter of days rather than the 60 now required.

Adam Applegarth, the chief executive of Northern Rock, said earlier this month that a bid from Lloyds T