Bradford and Bingley Shares Suspended

Today's announcement regarding the nationalisation of Bradford & Bingley is the final nail in the coffin for shareholders of the beleaguered bank. The former building society had its shares suspended this morning.

This means that the taxpayer inherits the liability for the bank's outstanding mortgage debt - presently valued more than £1bn.

Savers have been given some respite, as the savings division of the bank is being sold off to Spanish giant and fifth largest bank in the world Banco Santander, which has recently scooped up Alliance & Leicester, following on from its acquisition of Abbey in 2004.

It is viewed as a sound institution and, in any case, ministers have already promised that the deposits of savers with Bradford & Bingley will be protected.

The share price has collapsed from £5 just two years ago to 20p at the end of last week. In the past 12 months alone shareholders have watched the value of the stock plummet by a punitive 93%.

Shareholders now have to hold fire and wait for a Treasury appointed independent 'valuer' to decide how much, if any, compensation they might receive.

However, experts generally anticipate that this will be close to nothing leaving investors seriously out of pocket.