Saturday, 18 October 2008

Northern Rock and repossessions

Yesterday, I was interviewed by BBC News 24 about Northern Rock's repossession rate, which is around two and a half times the rate of other banks.

LEAP first exposed the repossession rate of the first nationalised bank on Wednesday, and the Daily Telegraph ran the story.

Yesterday, LEAP was interviewed across the media, and today the Daily Mirror continues the story.

The question for LEAP is why is the Government allowing the first bank to be nationalised to be run in an aggressive business-as-usual way? Why not ask the Prime Minister that very question . . .



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  2. Councillor Gordon Nardell18 October 2008 at 15:08

    The machinery to set up a repossession-to-rent scheme is not particularly complicated. It wouldn't require new primary legislation, just political will, including a willingness to adjust some of the byzantine rules about local authority housing revenue account. Title to the property would be passed to the local authority, which would effectively hold it on behalf of the nationalised bank and grant the indebted occupier a secure tenancy. The local authority would receive the rent payments which it would pay over to the bank less an allowance to cover the cost of managing the property. The courts have power to impose a stay or adjournment of possession proceedings to provide the breathing space necessary to convert the mortgage into a secure tenancy.

    As Andrew commented to the BBC, the government -- through the bank -- keeps the asset. The occupiers keep their home at an affordable cost. And the local authority doesn't lose out. This is the kind of imaginative solution that public ownership of banking can and should be providing.

  3. Good to see John McDonnell making similar points on the BBC Politics Show today -
    at c.54mins in.