Northern Rock £2.2bn assets sale agreed

NORTHERN Rock said today it has agreed to sell £2.2 billion of its mortgage assets to a US investment bank.The troubled lender said it would use the funds, which represent 2 per cent of the bank's total assets, to reduce the £25 billion-plus of emergency loans from the Bank of England.

NORTHERN Rock said today it has agreed to sell £2.2 billion of its mortgage assets to a US investment bank.

The troubled lender said it would use the funds, which represent 2 per cent of the bank's total assets, to reduce the £25 billion-plus of emergency loans from the Bank of England.

Northern Rock said the price Wall Street giant JP Morgan is paying represents a 2.25pc premium over the value of the assets - or £50 million.

The lender had to turn to the Bank of England in September last year when its business model collapsed amid the global credit crunch. The Government is trying to find a buyer for the bank.

Chief executive Andy Kuipers said the sale agreement was a "positive development" for the bank.

“This is a relatively small transaction, representing around 2pc of Northern Rock's gross assets, but it is a positive development in the company's ongoing strategic review,” he said.