Despite admitting that the crisis had been caused by irresponsible lending in the US housing market, the press tore into the worsening financial situation, with many papers firmly blaming the Government. ‘Britain’s rebooted regulatory system put in place by Gordon Brown in 1997 allowed the current crisis to occur’ (Daily Mail, 16 September).
Adam Applegarth, Northern Rock’s ‘beleaguered’ chief executive, offered ‘sincere apologies’ (The Herald, 17 September) to the ‘stampede of people withdrawing their savings’ (Daily Mail, 17 September). But despite a very public display of support from Chancellor Alistair Darling and Sir Callum McCarthy, chairman of the FSA, both online and branch customers across the country were intent on ignoring their assurances.
The effect on Northern Rock is expected to be terminal. ‘As a brand it is shot’ The Mirror, 17 September). But while banks are in the line of fire, ‘it will be consumers who feel the pain’ (The Observer, 16 September).