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Businesses trashed by RBS ‘vampire unit’ refuse to co-operate with FCA appointed sleuths

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 4 October 2015 Businesspeople who claim to have been ruined by RBS’s Global Restructuring Group are refusing to co-operate with a firm hired by the Financial Conduct Authority to investigate the scandal, potentially derailing the probe into the bank’s so-called “vampire unit”. The …

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CLEANING UP

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By Ian Fraser Published: The Treasurer Date: 1 October 2015 Corruption, scandal and bribery are commonplace in the world, but what action is being taken to eradicate these crimes? And what can treasurers do to avoid them? Ian Fraser reports In September 1977, Sir Richard Dobson made some off-the-cuff remarks …

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The Moldovan Connection

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By Ian Fraser and Richard Smith Published: Sunday Herald Date: 21 June 2015 How modest homes in some of Scotland’s poorest areas became prolific ‘company factories’. The inside story by Ian Fraser and Richard Smith.  It’s a humble ground-floor flat in Royston Mains Street in Pilton – the Edinburgh housing …

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The dog that eats up debt

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 21 December 2014 [Note this the unedited version of a business focus article published in the Sunday Herald on 21 December 2014] Banks including the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have found a new way of freshening up their balance sheets …

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Purge of ‘local toffs’ at Comcarde as the company seeks £3m to grow ahead of financial app launch

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 16 November 2014 An Inverness-based fi­nancial ­technology (fintech) company that aims to take the global smartphone payment apps market by storm has purged its board of four well-connected Highland businessmen as it seeks to raise £3 million to ­accelerate its growth. Comcarde, founded …

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Plugging the skills gap to enable SME growth

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By Ian Fraser Published: The Daily Telegraph Date: 6 November 2014 SMEs are calling on the government to take a more enlightened approach to immigration policy, warning the current approach is blocking access to talent, hobbling growth prospects and jeopardising the recovery. In a 2010 pre-election announcement, the then opposition leader David …

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Hard hats for bankers

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By Ian Fraser Published: Business Quarter (BQ) Date: 13 October 2014 At a dinner to mark the departure of chief executive Stephen Hester in September 2013, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s finance director Bruce van Saun gave Hester’s anointed heir, Ross McEwan, an unusual present. Hester, a keen horseman, had …

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Scottish referendum: how will the result affect SMEs?

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By Ian Fraser Published: The Daily Telegraph Date: 3 October 2014 The outcome of the referendum has brought certainty to Scotland’s economy, but what are the long-term consequences of the ‘No’ vote? Most Scottish businesses breathed a sigh relief when it became clear the Scottish electorate had rejected independence by 55 …

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Banks’ swap-for-swap deals anger campaigners

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By Ian Fraser Published: The Times Date: 29 September 2014 Small businesses, MPs and campaigners are calling for an inquiry into the Financial Conduct Authority’s handling of banks’ mis-selling of complex financial products to small businesses. Guto Bebb, a Conservative MP and chairman of an all-party parliamentary group on the …