Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/502/3127
Crisis will hit north east jobs
NORTHERN ROCK'S headquarters are in Gosforth, near Newcastle, and they employ around 4,700 people in North-Eastern England. The socialist spoke to one Northern Rock employee who said, 'We're all worried about our jobs."
She went on to explain: "Working at the Northern Rock's call centre is very target-driven, which means mortgages aren't always properly explained to people.
"Mortgages are routinely given to up to 125% of the purchase price of the house, and people are given amounts which are four, five or even six times their salary.
"Northern Rock have ruthlessly closed down local branches and pushed for internet banking and call centres.
The upshot of this has been many small investors moving their accounts because they no longer had a local branch with easy access to put money in or out of their account."
Many workers at Northern Rock are low-paid, but this is not the case for its CEO, Adam Applegarth, who was paid £1.3 million last year.
He reportedly took the job because he was allowed time off to play cricket during the summer. No doubt if he is made redundant he will receive a golden handshake.
In the US, big payouts to failed CEOs are known as golden condoms because they protect the bosses and screw the workers.
The Northern Rock, described in The Observer as the 'hungriest mortgage machine on the high street', has been the first British bank to be hit by this crisis, but the crisis won't end there.
Later developments may include problems around the future of Northern Rock Foundation, a charitable group that gives money to voluntary sector organisations in north-east England and Cumbria.
In The Socialist 20 September 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Workplace news and analysis