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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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God’s banker on greed, globalisation and Goodwin

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

28 June 2009 Stephen Green, chairman of HSBC, recently had lunch with Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, in the Pont de la Tour restaurant overlooking the Thames — and Barber has written an account of the repast in the Weekend FT. Green, who was ordained as an Anglican …

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The extraordinary lapses that caused HBOS’s collapse

In Blog by Ian Fraser3 Comments

28 May 2009 Introductory note: An edited version of this article was published on the BBC News website under headline Why did HBOS make risky loans on May 27th, 2009. All the current and former HBOS insiders interviewed for this article did so on condition of anonymity.  Soon after it was …

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Stiglitz: Britain should have let basket-case banks fail

In Blog by Ian Fraser2 Comments

4 February 2009 Professor Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist and author of Globalization and its Discontents, has said that the UK should let its failed banks go bust rather than throw good money after bad. Stiglitz believes it would be far better for all concerned if the life support …

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The bankers’ new clothes

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 27 April 2008 RBS’s refunding move is the first step in UK banks waking up from their self-delusion to the reality of the credit crunch  BRITISH BANKS, LIKE THE EMPEROR WHO WAS SO easily duped by his tailors, were suffering from chronic self-delusion …

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Test case could spur banks to levy more

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 18 November 2007 Office of Fair Trading raises landmark court action BANKs are gearing up to hit their customers with “a blizzard of additional charges” on their current accounts should the Office of Fair Trading wins its court case against the UK’s largest banks over …

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Free banking under threat

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 26 March 2006 PENALTY CHARGES: WARNING TO WATCHDOG BANKS are threatening to end free personal banking if a consumer watchdog too severely curtails what they can make from penalising customers who exceed their borrowing limits. Midland Bank, now part of HSBC, first introduced …

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Out of the corporate shadows

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 3 March 2002 UNTIL three years ago, Stewart Crawford wasn’t a happy man. He and his senior colleagues at the WM Company, the Edinburgh-based investment business, had reached the top of their corporate tree. But they were being hampered by WM’s then owners, …

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Banking on a future

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 3 October 1999 This week the Bank of Scotland will let investors know the details of its NatWest bid. Ian Fraser examines the fine print A DIRTY war has broken out for the heart of British banking following the Bank of Scotland’s £21 …

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Sir George in pursuit of a £28.5bn retirement gift

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 25 April 1999 SIR George Mathewson, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, last week made further steps towards his goal of an opportunistic £28.5bn reverse takeover of Barclays Bank. Following remarks by Andrew Buxton, Barclays’ chairman, at the English clearer’s annual …