Northern Rock shares plunge 32%
( BBC ) Shares in one of the UK's largest mortgage lenders, Northern Rock, have fallen 32% after it had to ask the Bank of England for emergency funding.
But experts and officials insist that Northern Rock, which has ?113bn in assets, is not in danger of going bust.
Despite the reassurances lines of customers formed outside many Northern Rock branches around the UK.
The bank has struggled to raise money to finance its lending ever since money markets seized up over the summer.
Stock market hit
Other bank shares fell, with Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester and HBOS down nearly 8%, 7% and 4% respectively.
House builders were also hit, with companies like Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Bovis Homes and Berkeley Group falling around 6% and more.
The London stockmarket's benchmark index, the FTSE 100, at one point dropped more than 2.2% before recovering during the afternoon. The index closed at 6,289 - a loss of 74 points or 1.17%.
Northern Rock said that its profits for 2007 would be hit, but that it remained solvent.
Unlike most banks, which get their money from customers making deposits into savings accounts, Northern Rock is built around its mortgage business.
It raises most of the money which it provides for mortgages by borrowing from banks and other financial institutions.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Chancellor Alistair Darling said: "The problem here is there is a lot of money in the system but they are reluctant to lend it to each other at the moment."