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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 …

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A true rebranding … or lipstick on a pig?

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By Ian Fraser Published: Mail on Sunday (Scottish edition) Date: 17 August 2014 RBS’s decision to scrap the three-letter acronym it has used for eleven years and assert its heritage by readopting the Royal Bank of Scotland title and refurbishing branches with a “heather, tartan and tweed” theme will get …

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RBS: papering over the cracks

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By: Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 17 August 2014 The decision by RBS to dissolve its Global Restructuring Group, an arm of the bank that stands accused of destroying viable UK businesses for profit, will do little to repair the damage caused to the bank’s beleaguered reputation. By Ian …

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On the trail of Fred the Shred

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 8 June 2014 Ian Fraser’s new book, Shredded – Inside RBS: the Bank that Broke Britain, has been acclaimed as the definitive account of the crisis. Here he reflects on the 13 things he learned along the long, hard road to publication (1) …

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Thousands of staff line up to sue RBS

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 27 April 2014 A third of the 12,000 plus individuals who have signed up to sue the Royal Bank of Scotland over its “misleading” £12.3 billion 2008 rights issue are current or former members of staff at the bank. RBoS Shareholders’ Action Group, …

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RBS accused of diversion over malpractice report

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 20 April 2014 Bank accused of misdirecting attention from lawyer’s true findings By Ian Fraser RBS has been accused of using diversionary tactics by Lawrence Tomlinson, an adviser to Vince Cable, after a report into accusations of malpractice by the bank. Tomlinson told …

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A legend in his own lifetime. Martin Gilbert profile

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By Ian Fraser Published: BQ Business Quarter Date: 25 March 2014 Martin Gilbert is one of the corporate world’s great survivors. Between 2002 and 2004, the 58-year-old lived through a crisis that came close to destroying his firm and ending his career. The asset management firm he co-founded through a management buyout …

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Barclays raises bosses’ payouts as staff face dole

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By Ian Fraser Published: Daily Record Date: 12 February 2014 Most bank chief executives, when describing the need to rebuild their institutions, restore profitability and regain people’s trust in the wake of the global financial crisis, have a habit of spouting meaningless platitudes. At first the Barclays chief executive Antony …