United Kingdom government officials have made plans to take temporary control of Northern Rock, a credit crunch victim that has borrowed public funds. The large U.K. mortgage lender, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, had been hoping to head off the move by finding a private partner, and it expressed disappointment that "the government concluded that it was unable to provide funding to support a private sector solution." Trading of Northern Rock's ordinary and preference shares has been suspended, and the government has made plans to appoint two executives that will work with management to operate the U.K. lender at arm's length from other government operations. Otherwise, the company's operations remain largely unchanged. Customers' funds remain government-protected, and the lender is slated to return to private ownership "at the earliest opportunity."

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