British news reports say the government is preparing to nationalize troubled mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley and sell off its parts.

Talks on rescuing the bank are under way, and Finance Minister Alistair Darling is expected to issue a full statement by early Monday.

The media reports said the British government will likely take the bank's bad loans and fold them in to Northern Rock, another mortgage lender seized by the government earlier this year.  British radio said the government will then try to sell the company's 200 branches and its savings business to other banks.

Bradford & Bingley announced last week it was cutting 370 jobs in response to the worsening economy.  Bank stock worth nearly $2 a share in January plummeted Friday to 32 cents.

The lender specializes in making loans to buy apartments that then become rental properties.

Earlier this month, the government brokered the sale of the Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) to London-based Lloyds TSB for $22 billion.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.