U.S. investment bank Citigroup has offered to provide funding to potential buyers of British bank Northern Rock as part of its advisory role, according to people familiar with the matter.
The news that financing is becoming more available, coupled with interest from more than one potential suitor, helped lift Northern Rock's shares 10% to 167 pence by 0809 GMT.
Citigroup, which was appointed as an advisor to Northern Rock on Wednesday, is willing to provide financing to potential suitors, the sources said, although they declined to say how much the bank would lend.
The Daily Telegraph said it could offer close to 10 billion pounds ($20.3 billion) in funding.
Contacted by CNBC, Citigroup officials refused to comment.