Campaigner greets Rock shares move

The man leading the campaign to win compensation for North East shareholders in Northern Rock has welcomed the latest development in the saga.

Sunderland-born Dennis Grainger is a lead claimant in the legal campaign to get a review of the terms of the compensation scheme set up by the Government after the bank was nationalised.

Campaigners say the Government has "rigged" the scheme by declaring that the bank was broke when it was nationalised, reducing the compensation due.

In February, judges in the lower court agreed with the Government. However, they gave the claimants – Dennis Grainger and nine others representing all the small shareholders as well as two institutional shareholders – the right to seek leave to appeal on the grounds that there is a "compelling reason why the appeal should be heard".

Master of the Rolls Sir Anthony Clarke and two other senior judges in the Court of Appeal will hear the next stage in the judicial review over three days starting on June 10.

"The Government rightly conceded there is a case for compensation to be paid to shareholders in Northern Rock," Mr Grainger said.

"However, despite the bank having in excess of one billion pounds in book value when it was nationalised in February 2008, our shares were expropriated by the Government, which rigged the valuation process so we will receive nearly nothing for our savings.

"Our aim is to oblige the Government through the courts to rethink the way it has tied the valuer's hands behind his back. He is currently constrained from making a truly independent and fair assessment of the compensation we are due.

"We welcome the opportunity to have our case heard to right this wrong."

There are almost 200,000 shareholders in Northern Rock. Most are in the North East.

Campaigners say they have been treated differently from shareholders in other banks which have been bailed out by the Government.