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Northern Rock

Northern Rock is to sell its Irish savings subsidiary to Irish Life & Permanent, including 17,000 customer accounts.

Northern Rock is planning to expand its network of mortgage banks from 72 to 100 over the next four years, and will also invest in IT and telephone systems.

Northern Rock, the mortgage bank, is to spend an additional £40m on the expansion of its offices in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in order to cope with the 200 new staff taken on each year.

Northern Rock is to create 250 jobs at new administration headquarters in Gosforth and Sunderland this year.

Northern Rock is hoping to get planning permission next month for a new £30m banking headquarters in Gosforth, Newcastle, and plans to create 300 jobs annually over the next seven years.

Northern Rock is to close 29 of its 105 bank branches with the loss of 250 jobs, but 100 new jobs will be created at a call centre in Sunderland and a further 300 will be recruited at its Newcastle head office to work on e-commerce.