Stricken bank Northern Rock was yesterday named as one of seven blue chip firms set for relegation from the FTSE 100 Index in its biggest shake-up since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The crisis-hit lender is poised to drop into the FTSE 250 after its recent woes saw it fall to 331st place, narrowly avoiding the humiliation of a fall straight into small cap territory.
Northern Rock's demotion will be confirmed today when the FTSE committee meets to discuss the latest quarterly reshuffle, which is based on the market capitalisation of firms calculated using yesterday's closing share prices.
Six others are likely to accompany Northern Rock in being ejected from the elite index as the turmoil in financial markets takes its toll.
Stocks have endured heightened volatility since the summer's credit crunch, which led to Northern Rock's funding crisis and the subsequent run on the bank.
Also on the way out of the top flight is newspaper group Daily Mail & General Trust, now ranked 118th, and in 117th place, and sugars and ingredients firm Tate & Lyle, which recently reported a 19 per cent drop in profits.
They are likely to be joined by Currys owner DSG International, which recently unveiled a 25 per cent fall in first-half profits, Punch Taverns and housebuilder Barratt Developments, which only joined the FTSE 100 in June after its £2.2 billion takeover of Wilson Bowden.
All Bar One and Birmingham-based Mitchells & Butlers are also on the relegation list.
Shares in Mitchells & Butlers, which stands in 120th position, have been gradually drifting downwards since mid-May, when they touched the 900p mark, to close at 507p yesterday.
The group recently reported slowing sales growth and said costs linked to a shelved property deal with entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz had risen to £260 million.
Companies due to take their place are Cairn Energy, Kelda Group whose time in the index could be short-lived as it is in the process of being taken over by an infrastructure consortium, Thomson holiday operator TUI Travel and bus and rail firm First Group. Others that look set to be on the way up include Admiral, the car insurance group that was only created in 1991, security firm G4S and fashion house Burberry.