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Farron calls for Kendal’s Northern Rock branch to be protected

June 20, 2011 1:53 PM

Tim speaking to local residents outside a bankSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury calling for assurances to be given to staff at the Northern Rock branch on Stricklandgate in Kendal.

In his annual Mansion House speech last week, the chancellor told his audience that the government hopes to find a buyer for the Newcastle-based bank by the end of this year. In 2008, during the height of the banking crisis, Northern Rock was the first British bank in a generation to face a run on its accounts. The long queues outside many of its branches became the poignant symbol of the banking crisis.

Tim has written to the Chancellor and to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury asking for them to provide assurances to Northern Rock's staff, agree to secure local jobs and protect Northern Rock's presence in South Cumbria. Tim wants the bank to be sold to a single buyer and he is insisting that during the negotiations with any bidder the government must secure concrete agreements to protect jobs in South Lakeland and a pledge to keep the branch in Kendal open.

Commenting today Tim said: "I have today written to the government asking them for assurances over the sale of Northern Rock. I want to protect local jobs and to make sure that the company isn't bought by another bank just to get rid of the competition on Kendal's high street. I want the government to commit to certain undertakings before making any final agreement to sell the business."