Former Northern Rock treasurer is found dead at home

A FINANCE executive at the centre of the Northern Rock bank collapse has been found dead at his home.

Former Northern Rock treasurer, Keith McCallum Currie

A FINANCE executive at the centre of the Northern Rock bank collapse has been found dead at his home.

The body of the bank’s treasurer, Keith McCallum Currie, 56, was discovered on Sunday at his property in Jesmond, Newcastle, after paramedics were called.

Mr Currie stepped down as a board director in November 2007 after the Bank of England issued an emergency loan to Northern Rock.

Northumbria Police confirmed they were called to his home by the ambulance service at 3.12pm and have informed the coroner of his death.

A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service yesterday said: “We were called to Lindisfarne Road after a report of a male who was deceased.”

There are believed to be no suspicious and a post-mortem is due to be carried out tomorrow.

Mr Currie was appointed Northern Rock treasurer in 2005 after working as director of Granite Mortgages, a company closely linked to the bank.

Shortly after the Rock’s collapse, he took two weeks’ sick leave and later took early retirement in January 2008.

He is understood to have separated from his wife Fiona, 52, earlier this year after 10 years of marriage.

His son, Angus, 19, and his first wife Gail Peters, 55, are also believed to live locally.

A spokesman for Virgin Money, the company which took over Northern Rock at the start of this year, said: “We are extremely sad to hear of Keith’s passing.”

A spokesman for Northern Rock Asset Management, said: “Our sympathies lie with the family at this difficult time.”

During the bank’s collapse, Mr Currie was criticised along with other executives for selling £1,106,27 of shares in the months before the Rock went under.

Management were also condemned for allowing £15m in bonuses to be paid to its top earning staff.

Scenes of customers queuing to withdraw savings worth £2.5bn from Northern Rock’s 76 branches came to define the beginnings of the UK’s economic crisis.

The bank was caught up in the US sub-prime lending crisis in 2007 and was an early casualty of the financial crisis.

Chief executive Adam Applegarth resigned in November 2007. Mr Currie and fellow board members Andy Kuipers and David Baker stood down from the board but remained company officers.

A year later it was nationalised. Part of it was then sold to Virgin Money for £747m on November 17, 2011, after it was split into two. It is estimated the sale saw taxpayers hit with a “paper” loss of between £400m and £650m.

More than 2,000 people are also believed to have lost their jobs.

Earlier this month, the Treasury was criticised for costly mistakes made in its handling of Northern Rock.

The report by the Commons’ public accounts committee said officials were slow to react to the banking crisis, and that made losses on the Northern Rock rescue difficult to avoid.

 

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