A promise to guarantee the jobs of about 300 branch staff at Dunfermline Building Society was key to swinging a sweetheart deal for Nationwide Building Society to take on the viable parts of the business, according to The Times.

Nationwide is to be paid £1.6bn by taxpayers to rescue the Dunfermline — whose headquarters is in a constituency adjacent to the Kirkaldy seat of the Prime Minister. Sources close to the negotiations said a pledge to keep branch staff in jobs for at least three years was critical for the Government. The news will reignite claims that Mr Brown is prepared to intervene aggressively to protect Scottish jobs at the expense of British taxpayers.

The Times