Northern Rock should be given one week to find a buyer - or the Government should force it to close its doors, accord-ing to a Midland MP.
John Maples (Con Stratford-on-Avon), a former Treasury Minister, said it was "extraordinary" that the bank was allowed to continue trading when it could only survive by borrowing billions of pounds from taxpayers.
"If by the end of the week we do not have a solution - in terms of a buyer - without the Government continuing their loan, it should be put into receivership and we should seek to get the public money back as soon as possible," he said.
"This was a temporary measure to give depositors confidence in the banking system. It was never intended to be a medium or long-term loan to keep this particular institution going."
Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, refused earlier this week to confirm claims that the cost to taxpayers of prop-ping up Northern Rock had soared to £24 billion.
He told the Commons the papers on which the reports were based were "confidential" and he would not comment on them.
The Newcastle-based bank was at the centre of a financial storm in September after soaring borrowing costs forced it to request an emergency loan from the Bank of England.
Northern Rock's advisers, Blackstone, Citi and Merrill Lynch, have reportedly sought to drum up would-be buyers from as far afield as China.
A sale of the whole company is considered unlikely but other options could include the sale of its mortgage assets to a willing buyer - leaving shareholders with a rump company saddled with the Bank of England debts.
Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, called this week for the crisis to be resolved in a matter of "weeks".
As well as proving an embarrassment to the British financial system and the Government, sustained help for Northern Rock risks flouting European Union state aid rules.
Mr Maples said the Chancellor had made the right decision in allowing the Bank of England to bail out Northern Rock, but it was now time to get the money back.
He said: "I find it extraordinary that the Government have allowed Northern Rock to continue in business and are still trying to conduct a sale when it seems clear that no one is interested in buying it without a huge loan from the Bank of England.
"That runs into enormous problems. The first is the state aid legislation, which is going to create a difficulty. Secondly, why should the Government and we taxpayers help to finance to an enormous extent a takeover?"