Call on PM to back Rock share­hold­ers

Sunderland Echo - - News - By Kevin Clark kevin.clark@north­east-press.co.uk Twit­ter: @kevinclarkjp

Cam­paign­ers have urged Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May to look again at the case for in­creased com­pen­sa­tion for for­mer North­ern Rock share­hold­ers.

Thou­sands of small share­hold­ers – many of them pen­sion­ers and longterm savers – saw the value of their stake in the bank wiped out when it was na­tion­alised 10 years ago.

The UK Share­hold­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (UKSA) has chal­lenged the terms of the scheme set up by the Gov­ern­ment to put a value on com­pen­sa­tion for those whose shares were seized, when the bank was taken into pub­lic own­er­ship.

Cam­paign­ers say the Gov­ern­ment at the time ef­fec­tively “rigged” the scheme by declar­ing that the bank was broke when it was na­tion­alised, ren­der­ing shares worth­less and re­duc­ing the com­pen­sa­tion due, and that they have been treated dif­fer­ently from share­hold­ers in other banks which were bailed out by the Gov­ern­ment, such as RBS.

They have also ar­gued that it was the Gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to act quickly enough to guar­an­tee sav­ings that sparked the “run” on North­ern Rock which saw savers with­draw mil­lions of pounds and led to the bank’s col­lapse.

The North­ern Rock Small Share­holder Ac­tion Group, part of the UKSA, yes­ter­day handed in a let­ter to Num­ber 10, ask­ing the Prime Min­is­ter to re­view its lat­est re­port into the af­fair.

Sun­der­land-born chair­man Den­nis Grainger said: “The share­hold­ers are ask­ing only that the Prime Min­is­ter gives them the cour­tesy of sim­ply read­ing and con­sid­er­ing sum­mary doc­u­ments and dis­cussing the mat­ter

“Ul­ti­mately to per­haps con­sider the full 50-page re­port and reach her own con­clu­sions.

He be­lieves the Labour Gov­ern­ment at the time al­ways in­tended to pre­pare the sol­vent com­pany for sale at a profit to the tax­pay­ers.

Queues out­side a for­mer North­ern Rock branch.

Den­nis Grainger.

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