thousands withdraw millions from uk’s 8th largest bank

thousands withdraw millions from uk's 8th largest bankfrom times online: The jitters plaguing financial markets spread to the high street for the first time yesterday as thousands of panicking savers queued to withdraw millions of pounds from Northern Rock, Britain’s eighth-biggest bank.

The rush to pull out savings followed the revelation that Northern Rock had been forced to ask the Bank of England for a rescue injection of finance.

As crowds of customers demanded their money back, shares in Northern Rock slumped by 31 per cent after it alerted shareholders to its difficulties, wiping £900 million from its value. Shares in other financial institutions were also hit, with Alliance & Leicester down 7 per cent and the specialist lender Paragon Group down 17 per cent.

The Bank of England pledged to provide unspecified liquidity support to see Northern Rock through the turbulence while it worked on an orderly resolution to its problems. The bank is braced for a fresh surge of withdrawals from its 76 branches to-day and last night was planning to extend its opening hours.