The British government is open to any measure to save mortgage bank Northern Rock as long as its depositors, the public purse and financial stability are not jeopardized, finance minister Alistair Darling said on Monday.
"It is in the interests of everyone that the situation with regard to Northern Rock is resolved as soon as possible," Darling said in a statement to parliament.
"It would be quite wrong to dismiss any option now without proper consideration as some suggest. I continue to believe it is right to use this time to explore the best outcome for the company and the public interest."
Earlier on Monday, the Treasury said it could offer extra help to any potential buyer of Northern Rock beyond February, when the emergency loan facility expires, after all bids for the mortgage lender so far were deemed too low.
But any such assistance would have to meet with European Union approval and
the government would prefer proposals that minimised any state involvement.
Darling said guaranteeing deposits at the bank, which suffered the first run on a British bank in more than 140 years at the height of the credit crunch in September, had so far cost the government nothing.