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Former Northern Rock treasurer, 56, who 'fell into depression after bank collapsed' is found dead at his home
Keith Currie died on Sunday at his home in Jesmond, Newcastle
Friends say he 'felt terrible' after the bank's demise in 2007
He had taken early retirement with £2.5million in bonuses
By MARTIN ROBINSON
PUBLISHED: 13:02 EDT, 26 November 2012 | UPDATED: 14:26 EDT, 26 November 2012

Found dead: Keith Currie, former treasurer of Northern Rock died on Sunday and friends say he never recovered from the bank's collapse
Found dead: Keith Currie, former treasurer of Northern Rock, died on Sunday

The former treasurer of Northern Rock has been found dead at his home after it is believed he spiralled into depression over his role in the bank’s collapse.

Keith Currie, 56, stepped down just two months after the bank went bust in 2007 and later retired with a reported £2.5million payout.

Friends say he was haunted by the bank’s collapse and could not forgive himself for failing to ensure the business had enough financing to survive.

It is believed he became a recluse and began drinking.

He also suffered a marriage collapse earlier this year.

Police today confirmed the father-of-one had been found dead at his home in Jesmond, Newcastle, at around 3pm on Sunday.

A close friend, who asked not to be named, said Mr Currie felt 'terrible' about ordinary people losing their money.

He said: 'He was a very charitable chap. He was just a really nice, very happy-go-lucky sort of guy.

'When Northern Rock went down he became quite reclusive. He did not go out. He was a guy with a conscience.

'He felt terrible about customers and shareholders losing their money.'

The friend added: 'He started to fall into depression'.

Mr Currie was appointed treasury manager of Northern Rock in January 2005 and played a key role in ensuring the bank had enough financing.

But just a month after Northern Rock crashed in September 2007 Mr Currie was notably absent from work for two weeks, citing stress.

He stepped down as a board director in November 2007 and took early retirement in January 2008 - after pocketing a reported £2.5million in bonus pay-outs.

Northern Rock’s shares collapsed after it was forced to seek emergency funding from the Bank of England.

Concerned customers rushed to withdraw their money and the share price plunged 30 per cent.

Mr Currie was criticised along with other executives for selling shares in the bank months before its financial crisis.

Collapse: The fall of Northern Rock shocked Britain and led to a rush by customers to remove their money from the toxic institution
Collapse: The fall of Northern Rock in 2007 shocked Britain and led to a rush by customers to remove their money from the toxic institution

A 2009 Channel 4 Dispatches investigation into banking chiefs’ bonuses found Mr Currie had received payments totalling £2.5million.

The friend added; 'He had everything going for him. He was a nice bloke, with a good sense of humour.'

'From what I understand one of his friends was trying to get hold of him and that is when they realised something was wrong,' they added.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police yesterday said: 'At 3.12pm Northumbria Police received a report from the ambulance service of a man found dead at his house on Lindisfarne Road in Jesmond.

'The man was in his 50s. The coroner has been informed.'

A post mortem is expected to take place on Wednesday.

Mr Currie is understood to have broken up from his wife Fiona Currie, 52, earlier this year after ten years of marriage.

He is known to have previously been married and has one son, Angus, 19. A spokesman for Virgin Money today said: 'We are very sad to hear the news of Keith's passing.'

Northern Rock was caught up in the US sub-prime lending crisis and was forced to apply to the Bank of England for emergency financial support in September 2007.

Worried savers queued up around the bank's 76 branches to withdraw savings - totalling up to £2.5billion - causing the share price to plunge by 30 per cent.

On September 17, 2007, the then Chancellor Alistair Darling stepped in and guaranteed all Northern Rock deposits in a bid to restore confidence in the bank.

Northern Rock executives appeared before a Parliamentary committee into the crisis October 16, 2007, and three days later chairman Matt Ridley resigned.

On November 17, 2007, the chief executive Adam Applegarth resigned along with board directors David Baker, Keith Currie and Andy Kuipers who stood down but remained as officers.

The Chancellor announced on February 17, 2008, that Northern Rock would be taken into public ownership.

The bank was later split in two with the 'good' bank being sold to Virgin Money for £747million on November 17, 2011.

It is estimated the sale saw taxpayers with a 'paper' loss of between £400million and ££650million.


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

livebetter, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 4 years ago

A banker with a conscience - honourable gentleman.

932Click to rate

Zein, Hove UK, 4 years ago

So sad, it shows how he was an honourable man. RIP

528Click to rate

redtoon, Gateshead, 4 years ago

it was a really really sad day when they went down, they had the best ever pensioner savings scheme the "Silver Savers" 6.7% instant access, what wouldent you give for a deal like that these days ?.

414Click to rate

hoodoogirl, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, 4 years ago

Only three online newspapers have reported his death.. really sad....RIP

317Click to rate

Bob, Bridport, United Kingdom, 4 years ago

Not a single negative comment on here shows that this man was a decent and respectable human being who genuinely cared for his investors; part of the old school. RIP Sir.

ev, ireland, 4 years ago

This is so sad. I an so sorry.


anon, anon, 4 years ago

R.I.P Mr Currie! Sorry family for Your loss.

HowOnEarth, Somewhere, 4 years ago

A banker that cared, he understood the consequences that his position commanded. RIP


sam, manchester, 4 years ago

thoughts are with his family


tulipa8, big-smoke, 4 years ago

Poor guy, I am sure it wasn't his fault alone. Very sad, I hope he is in peace now.

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