Britain's third-largest banking group joins government scheme to insure toxic assets. Lloyds Banking Group has become the latest U.K. bank to fall under government control since the run onNorthern Rock in September 2007. The U.K.'s third-largest bank confirmed Saturday that the government is raising its stake to at least 65%, and possibly as high as 77%, in return for insuring $367 billion dollars in toxic assets. The bank has also promised to increase its lending, primarily to businesses, by $39 billion over the next two years.
Evidence that the banking crisis is worsening overseas also rattled investors. On Monday, the Royal Bank of Scotland forecast a loss of $41.3 billion in 2008, leading the British government to increase its stake in RBS to nearly 70 percent and launch a new round of bailouts for the country's banking industry.