As a person that communicates through words, it is hard to sometimes find the right words to use to transfer what you are feeling into a medium that others will read. Words are more than letters in a group, in my head the words as I know them contain extra meaning trapped in emotions or relative experiences that make them unique and charged.
Adam J. Applegarth, the chief executive of Northern Rock has released a statement that must have been most assuredly massaged and carefully worded to evoke a sympathetic response from UK consumers. The message intends to draw deposits back into the bank from those worried and concerned depositors that withdrew their money in the recent run on the bank. The message even promises that if you bring the money back by October 5th, all penalty fees will be forgiven.
Some may read this public message from Northern Rock as an honest and sincere message to the UK public but I find it to be both cruel and deceptive. In their time of need, Adam J. Applegarth of Northern Rock comes with his hand out and says with a refined voice, “May I begin by offering our customers my sincere apologies for the anxiety and inconvenience that we have caused you. I know how worried many of you must have been.”
That might be all well and good to help settle the fear and trepidation that Adam J. Applegarth and the management team might be feeling due to the run on the bank but those words from Northern Rock are both hollow and meaningless to their customers in trouble.
It seems to me that the real implementation of the compassion and concern that Northern Rock should express comes not when people take their money and run and then the bank wants it back, but when Northern Rock customers have found themselves in a difficult financial position and seek cooperation and assistance from Adam J. Applegarth and the bank. But when that happens, the bank says, “No.” Now I guarantee that certainly causes anxiety and inconvenience for their customers but Northern Rock does not seem to be at all worried about that.
Northern Rock has a seemingly purposeful practice of turning their back on their customers in financial trouble that want to repay their obligations to the bank. At the actual point when people need compassion and understanding from Northern Rock and Adam J Applegarth, what do they get, the cold shoulder and sued by the bank.
Debtors that have fallen into financial misfortune and seek help from professional insolvency practitioners and then proactively come forward with a fair, reasonable and sustainable plan to repay their debts through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) are rebuffed and ignored on a daily basis by Northern Rock.
So Adam, while you want to politely thank your customers for their “support and understanding” where is your support and understanding for these Northern Rock customers that you are treating with contempt and disrespect by barely acknowledging their desire and willingness to repay their debt to you?
You write, “We are all working night and day to provide you with the service that you expect from us and deserve from us.” Well your staff might be working night and day to get the money back but they aren’t lifting a finger to help your customers in their hour of need. At that time the doors are locked, the lights are off and the staff has all gone home.
You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.