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Neil Woodford closes Woodford Equity Income Fund causing colossal backlash

Much progress has been made since Britain's financial crisis, but Woodford's move to close down his formerly lucrative business shows that not all the safety nets put in place are working and, as Chris Blackhurst says, is only a signal to the end

Friday 07 June 2019 16:17 BST
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Neil Woodford had previously cancelled all bonuses at his firm
Neil Woodford had previously cancelled all bonuses at his firm (Rex)

There was a moment in the financial crisis, when a very senior official at the Bank of England was perplexed.

It was soon after the news broke that Northern Rock was in meltdown and seeking a rescue package from the government, and footage showed customers queueing to withdraw their savings. The Bank official could not understand why they were bothering – there was a government-backed deposit guarantee scheme in place, he reasoned, that would see them right.

He was both right and wrong. Yes, there was such a life-belt available. But at the same time, they did not trust the authorities to see them right. It was their money and they wanted out. And that really was the point: their money. A similar occurrence is unfolding again, with the trauma engulfing stricken fund manager Neil Woodford. The former star stock-picker has banned clients from redeeming their investments.

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