Northern Rock: Taxpayers could lose £2bn

A sign is seen above a Northern Rock bank branch Credit: Reuters

The taxpayer may lose around £2bn after the assets of collapsed bank Northern Rock are wound down, The National Audit Office has said.

The public spending watchdog also said taxpayers lost approximately £480m when Northern Rock PLC was sold in 2011.

The early sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money was the "best way" to protect the taxpayer from greater losses, the report from the spending watchdog said. Northern Rock was saved in 2008 at the beginning of the financial crisis.