An extraordinary expansion in commercial lending lies behind the collapse of Dunfermline Building Society, which has cast another pall over Scotland’s beleaguered financial sector.

The remains of Dunfermline Building Society were being auctioned off to the highest bidder by Treasury officials, in a move that will see its £2bn savings book and 34 branches transferred to a rival institution.

The society’s troubled commercial lending book will be taken into public ownership.

Santander, National Australia Bank and Bank of Ireland are among those believed to have been approached by Treasury officials about buying the savings book, along with a number of building societies including Nationwide, Yorkshire and Skipton.

Sunday Times, Financial Times, The Independent