Northern Rock customers continue to take money out

LONDON, Sept 15, 2007 (AFP) – “My head tells me it’s all right but my heart says otherwise,” said an anxious accountant on the state of beleaguered British bank Northern Rock. The man in his 50s was queuing Saturday with 200 other worried customers outside the branch of Britain’s fifth-biggest mortgage lender in Golders Green, north-west London.

“I’m an accountant, I should know better. I shouldn’t be here but…”

The accountant, who wished to remain anonymous, was among hundreds of Northern Rock savers who queued outside their local branches across Britain for a second day Saturday, ignoring assurances from government officials and economists that the mortgage lender would survive.

Some people began queuing at dawn and by late morning the chairs were out.

“What about us?” asked a woman in her 60s, as she sat on her foldable seat holding a wooden walking stick.

She said she had come to withdraw her money “just in case.” She was certain about one thing, however, that this was “going to end with another takeover.”

Shares in Northern Rock plunged by almost a third Friday after the Bank of England came to the rescue of the home loan provider.