The search for a solution to Northern Rock's woes began after a run on the bank last September. But the genesis of the crisis can be traced back to the beginning of the sub-prime fiasco in the US some five years before.
Between 2002 and 2004
Billions of dollars-worth of mortgages are loaned to people on low incomes in the US. When the US Federal Reserve starts to hike interest rates from June 2004 onwards, many fall into arrears and default on payments. The subsequent fall-out impacts on investors around the world.
Late July/early August 2007
The UK stock market goes through a period of volatility. Banks begin to stop lending to each other due to market fears over exposure to potential losses on high-risk US mortgages.
Tuesday August 14
Bank of England governor Mervyn King is first alerted to potential problems with Northern Rock.
Thursday August 16
Rock chairman Matt Ridley speaks to Mr King over the possibility of a support operation, and begins the hunt for a possible buyer.
Wednesday August 29
Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Callum McCarthy writes to Chancellor Alistair Darling indicating that Northern Rock "was running into quite substantial problems".
Monday September 10
Northern Rock abandons attempts to find a buyer and a Bank of England rescue becomes inevitable.
Thursday September 13
News breaks that Northern Rock has sought emergency funding from the Bank of England in its capacity as "lender of last resort".
Friday September 14
Northern Rock confirms that it has agreed emergency funding from the Bank of England. Customers in their thousands rush to Northern Rock branches to empty their accounts. The bank's share price plummets by more than 31% in one day.
Monday September 17
Northern Rock shares slide further, with the stock opening 31% lower after tumbling by a similar amount in the immediate wake of the crisis. Meanwhile, savers continue to queue at Northern Rock branches across the UK. Mr Darling intervenes, pledging that the Government will guarantee all deposits lodged with Northern Rock.
Thursday September 20
The Bank of England makes a dramatic U-turn in its handling of the credit crisis by agreeing to pump at least £10 billion into longer-term money markets.
Monday October 1
The Government announces a new regime guaranteeing 100% of an individual's bank and building society savings up to £35,000.
Tuesday October 9
A guarantee put in place to protect Northern Rock customers is extended to cover all new deposits.
Friday October 12
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group confirms its interest in a potential rescue of the bank.
Friday November 16
The chief executive of Northern Rock, Adam Applegarth, announces his resignation. He is due to step down by the end of January.
Monday November 26
Northern Rock names the consortium led by Virgin Group as its preferred bidder.
Friday December 7
The Olivant group, headed by former Abbey chief Luqman Arnold, enters the race to secure Northern Rock.
Wednesday December 12
Olivant threatens to pull its bid unless Northern Rock's board promises to decide who will take it over before Christmas.
Thursday December 13
Mr Applegarth leaves Northern Rock with immediate effect.
Saturday January 12 2008
It emerges that the Treasury has signed up former Lloyd's of London boss Ron Sandler to head Northern Rock in the event of the bank's nationalisation.
Tuesday January 15
Rebel shareholders at Northern Rock are thwarted in their bid to gain a greater say in the future of the bank. Of four proposals put forward by hedge funds SRM Global and RAB Capital to restrict the board's ability to issue shares and sell assets, all but one is defeated.
Monday January 21
The Treasury announces plans to back a private-sector rescue of Northern Rock through the sale of Government-guaranteed bonds to pay off the lender's £24 billion debts.
Saturday January 26
The Financial Services Authority is criticised for "systematic failure of duty" by the Treasury Select Committee. MPs recommend new protection for depositors, and new powers to allow authorities to spot and tackle banks at risk earlier.
Monday February 4
Investment firm Olivant withdraws from the race to rescue the crisis-hit bank.
Wednesday February 13
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin is seen as the clear favourite but must offer better terms to seal the deal.
Sunday February 17
The Government announces a period of public ownership after neither of the two private proposals delivered "sufficient value for money to the taxpayer".
Monday February 18
Gordon Brown admits Northern Rock may not be privatised until after the next election.
Tuesday February 19
The Banking (Special Provisions) Bill to nationalise Northern Rock begins its passage through the House of Commons.
Wednesday February 20
The Bill completes its Commons stages shortly after midnight when MPs vote by a margin of 126 to approve temporary public ownership for the ailing bank.
The legislation passes to the House of Lords.
Thursday February 21
The legislation finally clears all its Parliamentary stages after three days of debate in the Commons and the Lords.
Tuesday March 18
More than 2,000 jobs at Northern Rock are to go, the company confirms. It said "around a third" of its 6,500 jobs will be cut by 2011, with most staff leaving in the first year.
Northern Rock will have to "shrink" if it is to remain afloat without state aid, the European Commission warns.
The Commission spokesman said Brussels was not calling for redundancies at the troubled bank but was trying to establish whether levels of government financial support were in line with EU rules on state aid.
Northern Rock also announces it will focus on growing its deposit base while shrinking its mortgage book.
Wednesday March 19
Northern Rock shareholders reveal details of their plans to take legal action over compensation.
They announce that they want payback for the compulsory purchase of their shares, claiming the Government has "rigged" the share valuation.
Wednesday March 26
The Financial Services Authority admits there was a lack of sufficient supervision over Northern Rock.Reuse content