Northern Rock shareholders take case to Europe

LONDON (Reuters) - Shareholders in Northern Rock, nationalised by the government in 2008, said they would take their campaign for compensation to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In a statement on Wednesday, the investor group said the application for the case to be heard is being made by small shareholders, with campaigner Dennis Grainger as the lead plaintiff.

It is also being made by two institutional investors, SRM Global Master Fund limited partnership and RAB Special Situations (Master) Fund Limited.

“The shareholders, the true owners of Northern Rock, were treated very differently by the government when compared to shareholders in other UK banks which subsequently received financial assistance from the government,” Grainger said.

Northern Rock, the country’s fifth-largest mortgage lender at its peak, was the country’s first major casualty of the credit crunch.

The government is now preparing the bank for a return to private ownership.

The campaign group said the European case is expected to take at least two years to be fully considered.

Reporting by James Davey, editing by Julie Crust