By Marcus Leach

UK Asset Resolution Limited (UKAR), the holding company for the Government-owned companies of Bradford & Bingley plc and Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc (NRAM) today announced plans to focus the business in Doxford (Sunderland) and Crossflatts (Bingley).

This will involve the phased withdrawal of staff from its Gosforth site to be completed by mid-2013.

This is part of an ongoing process of internal restructure and optimisation across UKAR which is necessary to generate operational cost savings and maximise value to the taxpayer.

UKAR currently operates from three main sites - Crossflatts (Bingley), Doxford (Sunderland) and Gosforth (Newcastle). Around 700 people are employed in Gosforth out of a total workforce of 2400. The majority of Gosforth staff will be offered the chance to relocate to the nearest UKAR site which is approximately 18 miles away. Some roles will also transfer to Crossflatts.

"Our job is to manage the wind down of the mortgage books. By the end of 2013 we expect the number of mortgages to have reduced by 25% since UKAR was established," The Chief Executive of UKAR, Richard Banks said.

"As a consequence, we will need fewer people and it will no longer be cost effective to run the business from three sites. Our duty is to deliver value for money for our owner, the UK taxpayer. The loss of some jobs is regrettable but we will work hard with colleagues and the union to relocate people where possible and offer support to those colleagues affected."

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