Barclays Bank is the latest financial institution to suffer massive share price losses after a fresh mix-up involving the Northern Rock bank.
A London investment banker was driving past a Barclays Bank in central London which is situated next door to a branch of the Northern Rock, when he noticed the queue snaking into, what he thought was, Barclays.
Fearing the worst, he telephoned a broker friend and told him "Barclays is next. Sell your stocks."
Within forty-five minutes, shares in Barclays were down 14 per cent, as the domino effect took hold. Queues formed outside all major branches of the bank up and down the country as investors withdrew their savings.
Barclays executives have complained bitterly to Chancellor Alistair, Darling about the mix-up, and have said that they are a very fair bank who look after their customers, and who do not deserve to go bust.
But pensioner Elsie Hardup, 93, from Rochdale, who is still repaying a £25 loan she borrowed from Barclays in 1951, disagrees. She said:
"They're all crooks! I hope they go under!"