It might be a secret, but it is not a surprise; the FSA is trying to off-load the buy-to-let bank Bradford and Bingley. The Telegraph reported:
"The City regulator is involved in secret talks to engineer a takeover of Bradford & Bingley as it seeks a permanent solution to secure the future of the embattled buy-to-let mortgage lender.
In the wake of a tumultuous week in global equity and credit markets which saw HBOS, Britain's biggest home-loan provider, agree an emergency sale to Lloyds TSB, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is understood to have been in contact with Santander, the Spanish banking group that owns Abbey and has just bought Alliance & Leicester; ING, the Dutch banking group; and National Australia Bank, which owns the Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks, to gauge their interest in a takeover of B&B."
Three of the top ten UK mortgage lenders have fallen: Northern Rock, HBOS, and the Alliance and Leicester. The B&B is likely to follow.
What happens if nobody is interested in buying the B&B?