A round-up of some of the most significant business stories of the past three months.
He told the annual meeting of regional development agency One North East: “With each passing day, Northern Rock is getting back on the road to recovery. This is in no small part down to the support of the region, and the whole region deserves credit for that. The entire North East has been on our side, offering encouragement and terrific support and we will not let the North East down.”
He added: “I extol the virtues of the North East whenever I get the chance. I am an informal ambassador for this part of the world.”
Helped by a huge surge in retail deposits, the Rock had now repaid more than half of the £27bn loan it took from taxpayers.
Mr Sandler said that this had been achieved by a substantial reduction in the number of mortgages on its books and by assisting borrowers to find mortgages with other lenders. The full loan would not be repaid until 2010.
In the first six months of the year, the Rock reported a loss of £585m. Mr Sandler said it would be 2010/2011 before the bank made any money and that it would continue to be extremely loss-making this year and next year.
Meanwhile, it was heavily criticised for having the highest repossession rate of any bank.