Bankers fear £12bn run on Rock

September 16, 2007
David Smith, Grant Ringshaw and Holly Watt

NORTHERN ROCK, the mortgage bank rescued by the Bank of England last week, could see as much as £12 billion – nearly half of its deposits – withdrawn by worried savers, experts say.

The run on the bank continued yesterday as police were called in to keep the peace when angry and desperate customers besieged branches across the country despite assurances from the Treasury and Bank of England that their savings were secure.

Branches due to close at midday opened until 2pm, but many hundreds of people were still trying to get their money when the branches closed and minor scuffles and arguments broke out.

Senior executives at Northern Rock spent yesterday at its New-castle head office monitoring events, but the lender is seen to have little future as an independent entity. It held talks about a possible takeover by Lloyds TSB before the crisis and is expected to be sold off cheaply to a rival.

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