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Book review: Going for broke

By Ian Fraser Published: Scottish Review of Books Date November 17th, 2012 It was intended as a memorial to the Scots who died in the Napoleonic Wars. But it wasn’t long before the incomplete replica of the Parthenon on Calton Hill was labelled ‘Edinburgh’s disgrace’. This was because the so-called National Monument was left half-finished, with […]

November 17th, 2012 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Illusion of unassailability leads to fresh outbreak of ‘mad banker disease’

November 6th, 2012 By Gordon Neave Picture: The Economist During the late 1980s and early 1990s British bankers changed for the worse. Having spent most of the past three centuries as financial herbivores — solid, reliable and rational members of the community — they metamorphosed into wild, hungry carnivores. Fuelled by commissions, bonuses and greed, […]

November 6th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Have we really rebuilt the Royal Bank of Scotland?

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: October 21st, 2012 Stephen Hester and Sir Philip Hampton may be in bullish mood, but is RBS as strong as they claim? By Ian Fraser (Image: The Sun) THE chairman and chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland had something of a spring in their step last week. The […]

October 21st, 2012 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

FSA plays dangerous game with relaxation of capital rules

October 10th, 2012 Today the Financial Services Authority formally relaxed capital and liquidity rules on UK banks in the vague hope this might kickstart lending and do something to ensure the UK economy can pick itself up off the floor. The Canary Wharf-based regulator also said that it would not require banks to hold extra […]

October 10th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Prem Sikka: Without proper curbs on predatory capitalism, recovery will elude us

October 8th, 2012 Despite a banking and financial crisis of near biblical proportions in 2007-09, which saw the collapse and state-funded rescue of many of Britain’s banks, the country’s regulators have singularly failed to get to the bottom of what happened. The way in which the Financial Services Authority has sought to close the book […]

October 8th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Campaign to clean up ‘rip off’ fund managers

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: September 30th, 2012 Fund managers are ripping off their customers through a minefield of hidden charges, misleading advertising, and obfuscation over performance, according the founders of new campaign aimed at ensuring investors get a fairer deal. Alan and Gina Miller – a husband and wife team who held […]

September 30th, 2012 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Written evidence to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards

Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards Submission from Ian Fraser, 24 August 2012 [Update: January 12, 2013. This is my submission to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, which is being chaired by Andrew Tyrie MP. Written in August 2012, it was published on the Parliamentary website [pdf 28mb] on December 19th, 2012 — it can be found on […]

September 21st, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

It’s time the FSA learnt the lessons of Hillsborough. Eventually the truth will out

September 17th, 2012 (Updated 11.25am) (edited Dec 16th 2012) Studiously ignoring the roles of “establishment” figures like Sir James Crosby and Lord Stevenson in the demise of disastrous Edinburgh-based bank HBOS, the Financial Services Authority is seeking to heap all the ordure on the less establishment Peter Cummings. Now I am not suggesting that Cummings is […]

September 17th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

McColl and Hunter attack FSA’s ‘disgraceful’ treatment of HBOS’s Cummings

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: September 16th, 2012 High profile figures say banker Peter Cummings has been made a scapegoat (Note: This is a longer version of an article published as the lead business story in the Sunday Herald on September 16th, 2012) Jim McColl, Scotland’s highest-profile business figure, has added his weight […]

September 16th, 2012 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Peter Cummings: The FSA’s approach is ‘tokenism at its most sinister’

September 12th, 2012 (updated 9.45am September 13th) Here’s a statement issued this afternoon by the former HBOS director Peter Cummings, in the wake of today’s 92-page Final Notice from the FSA. For once, I agree with some of what Cummings says, especially about the FSA’s failure to bring other HBOS board directors — including its former chief […]

September 12th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »