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Classic over-reach as Goodwin boasted about RBS’s immensity

7th November 2015 The FactSheet compiled by RBS’s senior communications executive and deputy chief economist Andrew Wilson in February 2007 pleased his master, the bank’s chief executive, Fred Goodwin, as it put RBS’s financial success in context. But it was also incredibly bombastic and dangerously hubristic Royal Bank of Scotland issued an extraordinary flyer to journalists on the […]

November 7th, 2015 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

On the trail of Fred the Shred

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) Fred the Shred was not […]

June 8th, 2014 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

RBS forced to recognize it’s not above the law after losing software dispute

May 12th, 2014 Royal Bank of Scotland is, once again, discovering that it is unable to operate above the law. On Friday, a U.S. judge ordered the Edinburgh-based bank to stop using a software program that underpins its trade finance division, after finding the bank had been infringing the system’s copyright for six years. U.S. District […]

May 12th, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Idea banks can be trusted to police themselves ‘one of most dangerous of modern times’

October 20th, 2012 (updated October 31st, 2012) On January 1st, 2008, some bright sparks at the FSA decided it was appropriate to grant Advanced Internal Ratings Based (AIRB) status to both Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS. In doing so, the Canary Wharf-based regulator was effectively giving the two Edinburgh-headquartered banks carte blanche to calculate the […]

October 27th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

About as invincible as Spain’s Grande y Felicísima Armada

March 16th, 2012 Ian Fraser’s introduction: This blog was written by Golem XIV, a pseudonym for filmmaker and author David Malone.   Imagine if you were in a plane and you looked down and spread out beneath you, majestic in the ocean, was an entire mighty battle fleet. And then it sank; not just one, but every […]

March 16th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Stephen Hester: “One of the issues we face is the UK economy is as flat as a pancake”

February 23rd, 2012 Stephen Hester was in combative form in his interview with Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow earlier this evening. He sought to defend the bank’s decision to pay a total of £985m in staff bonuses during 2011, despite mounting losses and scepticism it can be returned to the private sector within the original […]

February 23rd, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Deloitte and the demise of RBS

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: December 18th, 2011 (minor edits March 31st, 2013) One of Fred Goodwin’s first acts on being appointed RBS’s chief executive on March 6, 2000 was to sack PWC as auditors and to wheel in his ‘alma mater’, Deloitte & Touche. Ex-insiders suggest this was because Goodwin believed that […]

December 18th, 2011 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

RBS: Inside the Bank that Ran Out of Money (full one-hour documentary)

December 10th, 2011 A project with which I was involved… RBS: Inside the Bank that Ran Out of Money, a one hour BBC Television documentary charting the build up to the biggest bank failure in history, was first aired across the UK on BBC2 on Monday, December 5th. The one-hour film, produced by Tony Nellany […]

December 10th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Inside the Royal Bank of Scotland

November 21st, 2011 A documentary on which I worked as senior researcher and lead consultant is to be shown on BBC2 nationally on December 5th. The one-hour BBC film charts the rise and fall of the Royal Bank of Scotland, starting with its £21bn acquisition of NatWest in February 2000 and ending soon after its […]

November 21st, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

O’Neil appointment confirms UKFI’s warped priorities

July 19th, 2010 Chinless wonder: UKFI’s Robin Budenberg The coalition government of David Cameron and Nick Clegg is reverting to type where appointments to UK Financial Investments, the vehicle established by the previous government to hold the public’s stakes in lenders including RBS and Lloyds Banking Group. Most of the people who work for this […]

July 19th, 2010 | Posted in Blog | Read More »