Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 11:12 UK

Northern Rock confirms jobs cuts

Northern Rock clock in Newcastle
Northern Rock was one of the biggest employers in the region

Northern Rock says it has made 1,300 staff redundant as the beleaguered lender streamlines its operations after being nationalised.

The number is consistent with earlier announcements and brings total staff numbers to around 4,500.

Of the staff made redundant, 500 were voluntary and 800 were compulsory.

Northern Rock said that it now needed less office space and would also seek to sell or offer to let two office developments near Newcastle.

The company said it would retain its two main office sites in Gosforth and Doxford Park, Sunderland.

"The consultation process has been a substantial exercise and it has been undertaken carefully and thoroughly," said executive chairman Ron Sandler.

"We must now look to the future, deliver our plan and return this business back to health and profitability in the coming years."

Natural turnover

The bank had previously said it intended to cut up to 2,000 staff by 2011. It had been one of the biggest employers in the north-east of England with a workforce of around 6,000.

On top of the redundancies around 200 staff have left the company and the company expects further natural turnover in coming years to bring the workforce down to 4,000.

Northern Rock was nationalised in February following the first run on a British bank in more than a century.

A lack of liquidity in the money markets had forced Northern Rock to go to the Bank of England last September for emergency funding.

The bank, once Britain's fifth-biggest home loan provider, was taken into public ownership after it failed to find a suitable buyer from the private sector.

It has reduced its residential mortgage lending by half as it attempts to shed loans that had proved difficult to finance in wholesale money markets.

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