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Fortis (FORSY) was thrown an 11bn EURO (£8.8bn) lifeline last night as the Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg governments combined to inject capital into the embattled banking and insurance group in a last-ditch effort to shore up confidence among savers (Source: FT). The group, a giant of the Belgian and Dutch financial landscape, had become the latest focus of investor fears about the stability of the industry after ructions on Wall Street.

From the graph below, documenting Fortis' Market Cap out on loan (%MCOL) to short investors, you can see that short interest has risen in the bank, but is still extremely low at 2.5%. However, Utilisation is at 49.5%, which means it is fairly difficult to borrow the stock.

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Fortis

Meanwhile, today it was announced that Bradford and Bingley (OTC:BDBYF) would be nationalized, after negotiating a deal with Spanish bank Santander (SBP), which will buy the U.K. mortgage lender's £21bn deposit book and branch network for approximately £600m.

As you can see from this graph, far from being the target of short sellers, BB's short interest has actively decreased in the past month - down from 8% in August to 5.6% today. Utilisation is at 28%.

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Bradford

Source: Fortis and Bradford and Bingley Banks Thrown Lifelines