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Reaction from queues outside Rock

Northern Rock branches have been inundated today with customers withdrawing their savings and closing accounts.

Hundreds are lined up outside branches and those at the end of the queues face waits of more than seven hours.

Painter Robert O’Rorke says his financial adviser told him this morning that it would be best to withdraw his savings.

He says: “There’s been so much hysteria surrounding Northern Rock it’s difficult not to follow along and withdraw your savings. I’m here today to do that. It’s not going to help the bank but it’s difficult not to be affected by the mass panic.”

One customer said he’s not confident of Northern Rock’s future.

He says: “I’m here to withdrawl my money for the obvious reasons that everyone else is. I’m not confident of the future of Northern Rock. If I felt confident that they can get through this then I wouldn’t be withdrawing my money, but I’m uncertain.”

He adds that he’s not reassured by statements from the BBA or FSA insisting that it’s safe for customers to leave their savings in Norther Rock accounts.

He says: “I’m old enough to know that when establishment figures say everything is ok, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. It doesn’t make me feel more confident at all.”

Retired cab driver Terence O’Leary made it into a branch after queuing for five hours.

He said: “I’ve just been into the branch and withdrawn my savings from the company. There was no problem and they processed my request in full.

“I wasn’t going to withdraw my money when I heard the news on Friday, but the reports over the weekend made me concerned and I decided I didn’t want to take the chance and leave my saving in a Northern Rock account.”

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