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Salmond’s £1.7 million bung to KPMG is a kick in the teeth for taxpayers

April 11th, 2013 Yesterday, the government of first minister Alex Salmond gave a £1.7 million Regional Selective Assistance grant to the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm KPMG to establish a tax avoidance centre in Glasgow. To me this is an astonishing waste of public money, a kick in the teeth to ordinary taxpayers, detrimental to the long-term […]

April 11th, 2013 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Cummings–losing touch with reality?

December 15th, 2012 In his testimony to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards taken, taken in private in his Dumbartonshire bungalow on November 27th, the former HBOS corporate chief executive Peter Cummings railed against the FSA and criticised his boardroom colleagues but seemed to be as much in denial as ever. There was no contrition, no […]

December 15th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

HBOS whistleblower hits back at Crosby claims

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: December 9th, 2012 Paul Moore, the whistleblower whose evidence was key to last week’s hearings of the parliamentary commission on banking, has accused his former HBOS boss Sir James Crosby of “trying to rewrite history” about Moore’s sacking from the Edinburgh-based bank. In an interview with the Sunday Herald, Moore […]

December 11th, 2012 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Lord Stevenson: delusional or dishonest?

December 9th, 2012 Having endured three and half hours of the “evasive, repetitive, unrealistic” former HBOS chairman Lord Stevenson last Tuesday, I was amused to read what Kate Burgess had to say about the fiddle-playing peer in the Financial Times’ Lombard column on Wednesday. God Bless Lord Dennis Stevenson. The former HBOS chairman says governance at the […]

December 9th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Sir James Crosby, the ex HBOS boss, and the concept of mercy

December 1st, 2012 In a comment piece in Saturday’s Times, financial editor Patrick Hosking gave ten reasons why the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards must show absolutely no mercy to the former HBOS chief executive James Crosby when he appears before it at 3.30pm on Monday afternoon. This is no time for faux deference, taking mendacious spin at face value, letting […]

December 1st, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Sir Ron Garrick fiddled while HBOS burned

November 26th, 2012 (updated November 27th 2012) [Note: if the video of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ cross-examination of Sir Charles Dunstone and Sir Ron Garrick at the foot of this blog post starts to play, you need to scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to pause or mute it] It […]

November 26th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Andy Hornby and Peter Cummings said to have fought as they led HBOS to disaster

November 19th, 2012 My review of Ray Perman’s Hubris: How HBOS Wrecked the Best Bank in Britain was published in the Scottish Review of Books at the weekend. The full review — which is in fact more of an essay about how a small group of misguided people trashed Scotland’s banking sector and squandered three […]

November 19th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Britain’s corporate failures invite a governance revolution

November 18th, 2012 Image: WilliamBanzai7 The bigwigs of the City of London, corporate governance ‘gurus’ in asset-management firms and leading figures from FTSE-100 companies have a penchant for patting themselves on the back over the brilliance of the corporate governance framework they have erected over the past two decades. The UK Corporate Governance Code (formerly the Combined Code of […]

November 18th, 2012 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

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 »