Consumer worry needs to stop

The daily newspapers have been quick to castigate the lender for its practices, but according to Northern Rock, its business is solvent, and the government, the FSA and other organisations have all supported a move to quell any fears. But this doesn’t seem to have happened.

On my way into work earlier this week, I was confronted with a queue outside my local Northern Rock branch. I thought about just going up to people and saying ‘you’re being stupid, your money is safe,’ but if they aren’t prepared to take the word of the government, why would they listen to me?

The Chancellor seems to have done all he can, and confirmed that he had been in constant talks with the lender, and had been in dialogue for a number of weeks, but all that borrowers will hear is that their savings are, or were, in jeopardy.

I think that, although the government has made moves to help this market fluctuation, the FSA, the Bank of England and the organisations involved in the decision need to have a more public face.

Adam Applegarth, chief executive at Northern Rock, has been prominent in advertising the company and attempting to calm fears, but we have seen very little public action from the FSA. It would be good for the public to see what the regulator actually does, and if this market turbulence can lead to changes along this line, then the market will have learnt something.

Unfortunately I think the FSA will continue along its current path, further alienating those it is supposed to serve – UK borrowers.

Via e-mail

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