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Northern Rock

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is today publishing a report assessing the competitive implications of Government support to Northern Rock. When Northern Rock was taken into a period of temporary public ownership in February 2008, the commitment was given that the OFT would produce an annual report considering the competitive effects of public support to the company.

Given the turbulence in the financial markets and increase in Government support to the banking sector, as reported in PBR 08, the OFT has announced that it will publish a Financial Services Strategy for consultation in March 2009. Following this, the OFT will develop a Financial Services Plan. It is anticipated that work conducted within the plan will examine consumer and competition issues across the financial services sector including consideration of competition issues relating to public support to banks, including Northern Rock.

I have placed copies of the report in the Libraries of both Houses.