Following news that Virgin Money is to be taken over by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group, Cllr Robin Ashby, Newcastle Liberal Democrats Shadow Cabinet Member for Business, Development and Employment commented:

" This further piece of financial engineering comes at the price of quality professional jobs in Newcastle that are core to our regional economic strategy. It can therefore only be seen as a setback for us.

"Similarly, the relocation of the headquarters of a major quoted company from Tyneside to Scotland is detrimental to our image as a region which is good for business.

"The takeover is built upon the ashes of local people's investments, confiscated by a Labour Government and flogged off on the cheap by a Tory Government.

"The reported pay-off package of £12.5 million for the Chief Executive of Virgin Money will leave a very bad taste in the mouths of those 1,500 people likely to lose their jobs.

"It's a sad day, and those who will lose their jobs just to build a bigger bank have all my sympathy."