Britain may have to wait for another 15 years before getting its cash back from its bailout of the former Northern Rock banking business, UKFI - the body which manages the country's state bank holdings - said on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Britain sold the core Northern Rock business to Virgin Money for between 747 million pounds and 1 billion pounds - representing a loss on its 1.4 billion pound rescue of the bank during the 2007-2008 credit crisis.

Britain is also running down and may sell off some of the other non-core Northern Rock operations, mainly consisting of the former bank's toxic assets.

UKFI said in a report on Tuesday that although the country could eventually get up to 48 billion pounds back from the old Northern Rock business, it had a long wait in store.

Over time, the return of cash from these companies to the government is expected to total between 46 billion pounds and 48 billion pounds, UKFI said.

However, this cash is expected to be returned over a period of around 10 to 15 years from 2012 as Northern Rock Asset Management Plc is run-down and the remaining Government loan is repaid, it added.

This is equivalent to receiving an annual rate of return on the government's intervention of 3.5 to 4.5 percent per year and compares to the Government's estimated notional annual funding costs during the period of intervention of 3.9 percent.

Northern Rock was fully nationalised in 2008 after nearly collapsing during the credit crunch.

The group was starved of funding after banks abruptly stopped lending to each other in the 2007 credit crisis, triggering the first run on a British bank in many decades, and prompting the government to step in with emergency support.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Myles Neligan)