The Treasury is struggling to find an independent valuer to calculate how much Northern Rock’s former shareholders should be paid in compensation, and is now considering advertising for the post.

More than three months have passed since the Treasury revealed plans to pass the sensitive issue of compensation to an “independent valuer”. The arrangements were enshrined in law less than a month later, on March 12, but the “competitive process” of finding a valuer has yet to begin.

Industry insiders say it has been delayed because the obvious candidates are reluctant to apply for the role, widely considered a “poisoned chalice”. “Everyone’s ducking for cover,” one banker said.

The big four accounting firms and some of the City’s leading investment banks have been approached but are reluctant to get involved. One insider said: 'No one really believes the valuation can be a transparent process. The feeling is the Treasury is just looking for a rubber stamp.'

Daily Telegraph