Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Sunday, 17 May 2009 15:30 UK

West Bromwich denies rescue talks

West Bromwich
West Bromwich celebrated its 160th anniversary this year

West Bromwich Building Society has denied reports that it is on the verge of collapse.

The building society said it was "well capitalised" and "able to meet all its obligations in full".

The Sunday Times reported the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is secretly seeking bidders to rescue West Bromwich after so-called "stress tests".

West Bromwich said it had "no knowledge" of the FSA holding merger talks about it.

"Over 12 months ago, the West Brom exited commercial lending and is no longer active in new buy-to-let or non-prime residential lending," the lender said in a statement.

"The Society has not acquired mortgage books from other lenders since 2006."

Concerns over the health of building societies has been heightened since Scotland's Dunfermline Building Society had to be rescued earlier this year.

Parts of the Dunfermline were transferred to Nationwide Building Society in March, while the Treasury said it would take on about £1.5bn of commercial property lending and acquired mortgage debt under the deal.

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