View Post

Clydesdale’s claims to be a prudent lender ring hollow

In Article Library by Ian Fraser2 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 12 February 2012 From the perspective of its head office in Melbourne’s Bourke Street, National Australia Bank’s UK subsidiaries Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank are looking increasingly like dead weights at the moment. The Australian economy, where the Victoria-based bank has the bulk of …

View Post

Peter Cummings’ ‘Aladdin’s Cave’

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

31 January 2012 The man who destroyed the Bank of Scotland with a reckless and out-of-control corporate and real-estate lending spree is in the media again. Mortgage Strategy has an article (Living in the age of less reason) which touches on the “pig on pork” or integrated finance model favoured …

View Post

Dear Economist: ‘Revolving door’ capitalism has its flaws too

In Blog by Ian Fraser3 Comments

23 January 2012 As part of its special report on state-sponsored capitalism, published in its January 21st issue, the Economist berated emerging markets, including China, and some developed countries, for adopting a model of capitalism in which the state owns many of the prize corporate assets. The special report was credited …

View Post

KPMG and the HBOS whistleblower

In Article Library by Ian Fraser1 Comment

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 18 December 2011 KPMG was already auditing Halifax when the ex-building society merged with Bank of Scotland a decade ago, and the audit firm took over responsibility for auditing HBOS books from September 2001. The firm fulfilled this function until HBOS had to …

View Post

The FSA’s cosy deals are a travesty of regulation

In Article Library by Ian Fraser1 Comment

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date: 5 December 2011 Ever since its failures as a regulator were revealed by the collapse of Northern Rock in September 2007, the UK’s Financial Services Authority has shown a remarkable lack of enthusiasm for rooting out financial crime, and very little introspection or contrition about its own pre-crisis …

View Post

Lloyds chairman Win Bischoff’s string of catastrophic blunders

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

1 December 2011 The boardroom blunders, and particularly the failure of the non-executive directors, at Lloyds Banking Group have been brilliantly highlighted in a leader article headlined Black Horse Blues in today’s Financial Times, . The article highlights a string of corporate governance errors made by the Lloyds’s board, which since September 2009 …

View Post

S&P downgrades Royal Bank of Scotland and 36 other banks

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

30 November 2011 I had a bizarre sense of déjà vu yesterday on learning of the mass downgrade of 37 of the world’s largest banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, by Standard & Poor’s. Something very similar took place in July 2007, when Moody’s downgraded hundreds of CDOs – …

View Post

Invista sues Lloyds over non-payment of fees

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 27 November 2011 Asset managers lose patience over £500,000 unpaid bill  Lloyds Banking Group, whose shares tumbled last week on investor concern that it is in “chaos”, is being sued by an Aim-listed fund management company in which it owns a majority stake. …

View Post

On banking, David Cameron is either clueless or a liar

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

5 October 2011 David Cameron displayed an astonishing lack of understanding of the banking sector in his interview with Sarah Montague on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Tuesday morning (as, I’m afraid, did Sarah, given her blinkered obsession with “bonuses”). If Cameron’s stumbling performance was due to ignorance, …

View Post

The Osborne Ultimatum: banks must split or else

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: QFINANCE Date: 17 June 2011 The announcement from Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne that British banks are going to be forced to “ring fence” their retail and commercial banking (“utility”) activities from their investment banking (“casino”) activities has received wildly different receptions on either side …

View Post

Conflicts of interest a big issue for banks

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

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 …