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Will the bank runs stop?

By Nick Martin

Updated on 17 September 2007

It's been another day when desperate customers besieged branches around the country - is the Chancellor's guarantee enough to stem the panic?

The queues started on Friday. It was a run on the bank which the Northern Rock feared but expected once they'd confirmed that the Bank of England had offered them a rare loan.

Savers didn't see it that way. They wanted their money, three days later the queues are still growing. For some, the assurances from Northern Rock had done little to calm their fears.

The bank, it would seem, has lost the one thing all banks need. Trust.

"I don't bank where I don't trust." - Northern Rock customer.

Shirley Robinson walked out of Northern Rock with her life savings - and deposited it three doors down with a competitor. From Darlington, to Peterborough, Reading to Kingston upon Thames the queues all told the same story.

Aside from the bank itself sending a message not to panic, experts are advising that savers have nothing to worry about, so why are they still queuing?

Customers weren't just queuing at the branches - they were queuing on the phones too. The Northern Rock call centre in Newcastle has been red hot all weekend. Staff have successfully managed to retain hundreds of millions in savings.

The Chancellors promise that all existing deposits will be underwritten may be the concrete guarantees many Northern Rock customers have sought.

But with the bank still under threat of a take over and the share price plummeting. The rock is in a hard place - but its not stuck. Yet.

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