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Northern Rock board were ready to quit two weeks before the run

All members of the Northern Rock board were willing to offer their resignation as early as August 30, it was revealed to the Treasury select committee.

Non-executive director Ian Gibson told the TSC that all members of the board were asked if they were willing to make their resignations available on August 30, if it helped a possible support offer, and all of them did.

He said their resignations were then considered again between September 14 and September 18- during the run on the bank- and both chairman Matt Ridley and chief executive Adam Applegarth said they would be happy to resign if required.

Gibson said shareholders were consulted and the overwhelming feeling was that resignations were a future issue to worry about and the main priority was to direct the bank through the crisis with the current staff on board.

Applegarth told MPs he believed there was nothing more he could do to have stopped the crisis and Northern Rock risk committee chairman Derek Wanless said that “no reasonable professional” could have foreseen the episode happening.

Applegarth laid blame with the Bank of England for not offering the lender of last resort facility option to a suitor before the run on the bank began. He said he believed this may have stopped the crisis from happening.

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