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Conflicts of interest a big issue for banks

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By Ian Fraser Published: Financial Times Date 23 May 2011 As Antonio Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, weighs up whether or not to sell Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, the bank’s asset management arm, the consensus in the City is that he should plump for a sale. He is …

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António Horta-Osório breaks banking’s mould

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5 May 2011 In Lloyds bows to the law the Guardian’s financial editor Nils Pratley describes how the PPI misselling saga is likely to become a major turning point for Britain’s banks. The decision of Lloyds Banking Group’s new chief executive António Horta-Osório to set aside £3.2bn for compensating customers who were ripped off …

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The horse has bolted, but at least the Lords have started to clear out accountancy’s Augean stables

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March 30th, 2011 Here is Lord MacGregor, a former Conservative chief secretary of the Treasury, unveiling the hard-hitting and long-awaited conclusions of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee’s report into audit profession. This is an inquiry I’ve been following with interest and which I’ve written on Qfinance (Scrap mark-to-market …

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Mervyn King makes case for radical bank reform

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8 March 2011 It’s virtually unheard for the governor of a central bank to launch an outspoken attack on the integrity and purpose of his country’s banking sector. But this is what the Bank of England governor Mervyn King did last weekend. In an interview with former Telegraph editor Charles …

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Why the Oscar for ‘Inside Job’ is a sort of turning point

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

28 February 2011 Charles Ferguson’s movie about the financial crisis, Inside Job, released in the US in October 2010, richly deserved to win ‘Best Documentary’ at last night’s Oscars. Amid all the flimflam about actresses’ dresses and the other flaky stuff one’s subjected to around Oscars’ time, the Academy Award …

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Diamond: The period of remorse and apology is over for banks

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

12 January 2011 This morning’s “grilling” of Barclays’ new chief executive, Bob Diamond, was an unsatisfactory affair. A light sautée-ing would perhaps be a more accurate description. The MPs on the Treasury Select Committee were good at grand-standing on banking issues such as excessive bonuses, lack of pay transparency, recklessness, tax avoidance, …

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Charles Ferguson: The securitization food chain

In Blog by Ian Fraser3 Comments

10 January 2011   Charles Ferguson, director of the seminal movie about the global financial crisis, Inside Job, has warned that we should continue to feel a profound sense of unease about banks and financial institutions — and by extension about all our economic and political futures. In a lecture …

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RBS executives seem to think they’re above the law

In Blog by Ian Fraser2 Comments

16 December 2010 As they scramble to shore up their balance sheets, Britain’s banks are treating some of their corporate and small and medium-sized business customers with barely disguised contempt. A tactic commonly used once they’ve reneged on pre-crisis lending agreements and decided to recover what they can from a …

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Pension giant considers RBS pull-out over governance worries

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 12 December 2010 Scotland’s largest pension fund is considering disinvesting in Royal Bank of Scotland shares over concerns about poor environmental, social and corporate governance at the Edinburgh-based bank. Richard McIndoe, head of pensions at the £10.5 billion Strathclyde Pension Fund, told the …

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RBS under siege over “environmental vandalism”

In Blog by Ian Fraser3 Comments

20 August 2010 The Camp for Climate Action, which was set up on parkland behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s world headquarters at Gogarburn in Edinburgh on Wednesday night, is deploying spectacular tactics to make a valid point. The campers, including my nephew, wrongfooted the police and RBS security by arriving a day …