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RBS: Inside the Bank That Ran Out of Money

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

21 November 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 …

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Does Vickers go far enough?

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

12 September 2011 This morning I was listening to Nicky Campbell’s phone-in programme on BBC Radio 5 Live. The topic was the final proposals of Sir John Vickers’ Independent Banking Commission for reforming the UK’s banking system, which were published this morning. To many, including Philip Augar (who since leaving the …

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Cameron now has no choice – he has to fire Coulson

In Blog by Ian Fraser2 Comments

8 September 2010 When prime minister David Cameron appointed Andy Coulson,  former editor of the News of the World, as the Conservatives’ head of spin in June 2007, it was always seen as a bizarre appointment (and this was only partly because Coulson had left the paper under a cloud, …

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O’Neil appointment confirms UKFI’s warped priorities

In Blog by Ian Fraser9 Comments

19 July 2010 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 bust lenders including RBS and Lloyds Banking Group. Most of the people who work for …

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The secrets and lies of Gordon Brown

In Blog by Ian Fraser5 Comments

18 April 2010 Gordon Brown’s hypocrisy towards the banking sector knows no bounds. The doomed prime minister recently branded the investment bank Goldman Sachs as “morally bankrupt” and asked the FSA to investigate. Yet Brown has ignored corruption and moral bankruptcy closer to home. Has he “forgotten” that, eighteen months …

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Brown commissions report on banking, then ignores it

In Blog by Ian Fraser3 Comments

30 March 2010 TEN years after Don Cruickshank published his Review of Banking Services is a good time to take stock of Gordon Brown’s bizarre relationship with the banking fraternity. Brown commissioned the report as chancellor in 1998 at a time when, true to his early Socialist principles, he remained …

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Why HBOS’s Cummings should hand back his rewards for failure

In Blog by Ian Fraser3 Comments

27 February 2010 PETER Cummings, the former head of corporate lending at HBOS, is the archetypal ‘fat bloke’ banker. He was handed an astonishing £660,000 pay-off on leaving the bank he helped destroy in January 2009. Worse, the Dumbarton and Marbella resident was also, according to this Daily Telegraph article …