Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Journal: Faith May Earn Its Reward; North-East Newspaper of the Year

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Journal: Faith May Earn Its Reward; North-East Newspaper of the Year

Article excerpt

IT is exactly one month today since the Northern Rock crisis sparked a run on the bank and - in the eyes of some so-called experts - foreshadowed its ultimate demise.

Yesterday Sir Richard Branson confirmed his Virgin Group is leading a consortium which wants to buy it - lock, stock and barrel.

Whether Britain's best-known entrepreneur adds the Rock to his portfolio of companies is something only time will tell.

What we know now is that the regional campaign to save the bank - and the 5,700 jobs it directly provides in the North-East - has achieved its aim.

The support of individuals and organisations all over the region has given the bank two very precious of commodities which are required in such circumstances - time and faith.

Virgin is not the only potential suitor currently in the picture, but it is the only one to have, so far, declared its hand.

There are elements of Sir Richard's plan that will appeal, such as the investment of "substantial new equity" to keep it "trading in its entirety". …

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