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'Every day I saw the balances disappear' THE WORKERS NORTHERN ROCK: ONE YEAR ON.

FOR most Northern Rock staff it was months after that black Friday in September before they knew the sheer scale of the corporate crisis.

However, when 30-year-old Ian Welsh was called to action from Gosforth to the firm's offshore operation in Guernsey, he quickly became aware of the severity of the situation.

The offshore specialist said: "I was at the forefront of what was happening. I was providing figures to the FSA every day and I could see the saving balances disappearing. We were seeing the daily figures going out with minus millions of pounds every day. "

Mr Welsh, who served as the Rock's product manager for offshore savings, left the company for Newcastle Building Society in December - long before plans for huge job culls in Gosforth were announced.

"I was about to get married and didn't want the possibility of fighting for my job against 60 other people."

Meanwhile, when Anthony Arrowsmith heard the news that Northern Rock had asked for emergency funding from the Bank of England, he was completely oblivious to the fact that his job could be at risk.

The 26-year-old, who managed a team of 14 in the Rock's personal secured loans completion department, said: "People really started worrying after a couple of months and they felt under a lot of pressure in terms of their jobs. The whole time the company was saying the jobs were safe but at the end of the day they weren't."

Mr Arrowsmith also believes those at the top of the Northern Rock tree could have communicated more closely with their staff.

"They would send emails on a Friday afternoon when no-one was there after five o'clock, or you would hear about it first from the press. Everyone was waiting for the information to go out but the company's communication was quite poor and no-one knew what was happening."

Today Mr Arrowsmith is set to jet off to sunnier climes, having taken voluntary redundancy for a healthy sum.


SUNNIER CLIMES Former worker Anthony Arrowsmith.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 12, 2008
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