Financial problems at Britain's 5th largest money lender and who gets the blame? Not the Bank executives for taking risks with other peoples money, but the customers for having the audacity for removing their life-savings from the floundering bank Northern Rock.
After receiving a £4.4bn last resort loan from the Bank of England, the Northern Rocks Chief Executive Adam Applegarth (£760,000 pa) tried to assure its customers not to panic and to trust it with its money. Queues of nervous bank users then withdrew their cash leading to the bank of England Chairman Mervyn King (£276,647 pa) to repeat that everything is fine and appealed to Northern Rock customers not to close their accounts. Still the queues outside every one of the banks branches.
Even the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, (£187,611 pa) tried to placate the masses with his message for calm and to trust the bank to return itself to an even keel but still the Northern Rock shares plummeted as people took their chances with stuffing their money under the mattress rather than the sinking Northern Rock.
And the morale of this story is that it is not that we don't believe you Mr Brown, Mr King, and Mr Applegarth when you say that NR will come through the crisis, it is just the nurses (£15,000 pa) pensioners (£3640 pa), school teachers (£19,000 pa) and basic wage earners (£11,440 pa) who make up the majority of your customers just don't trust you enough to do what is best with our own money.