In one of his last acts before stepping down, Sir John Bourn,
National Audit Office (NAO) auditor
general, has decided to launch a full-scale inquiry into the events behind the
government’s bail-out of the failed
The inquiry is expected to examine the government’s original decision to
guarantee deposits and loans to halt the run on the bank, as well as Gordon
Brown and Alistair Darling’s final decision to nationalise the bank last Sunday,
The Guardian reports.
Auditors will be demanding access to files held by the Treasury and the
Financial Services Authority, and will consider accusations that the government
dithered over decisions on the future of the bank.
They are eager to examine the bids from Richard Branson’s Virgin group and
Olivant, the private equity group, to see which option was the best value for
the taxpayer, and will also look at whether civil servants took prompt action to
safeguard taxpayers’ money.
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