Northern Rock: What should’ve happened last Friday

So here we have the biggest banking crisis for a decade. Yet actually there was nothing substantially wrong in the first place (for more on this read Northern Rock Crisis article). So what should’ve happened last Friday when people started to queue outside branches?

There should have been two main aims 1. Explain the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (again see Northern Rock Crisis article) and 2. Let people know there wasn’t a problem. Of course Northern Rock itself tried to do this… but who’s going to believe a bank? So who could’ve persuaded people there was no crisis. This is my panel. Imagine on Friday a giant press conference with the following as the cast.

1. The Chancellor (or even better Gordon Brown)
2. The Shadow Chancellor (to show this is a unified action in the face of world financial events)
3. The head of the FSA (well you’ve got to have the officials there, haven’t you)
4. The Chief Exec of Northern Rock
5. The Chief Exec of another big bank (after all, this proves it’s an industry issue)
6. A bank charges campaigner, someone on the opposition side to say this is everyone together, this isn’t a polemic issue. (I would’ve happily done it; I’m not creating a role for myself – any senior journalist/commentator/independent expert would’ve done)
7. The National Consumer Council and/or Consumers Association

This type of unified action of all sides would’ve done a lot to restore public confidence… done earlier, before there was any panic and the whole thing may just have been averted.

Is my panel wrong? Who would you’ve had on it to restore confidence?

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