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The bank, the regulator and the Vavasseur fraud

In Blog by Ian Fraser14 Comments

8 November 2009 (first published January 2009) One of the FSA’s roles is supposed to be to protect consumers from being ripped off by crooks and charlatans in the financial world. But the City regulator has in recent times had no appetite for this. Ian Fraser examines the multifarious failings …

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Is Lloyds the new Enron?

In Blog by Ian Fraser8 Comments

29 October 2009 Lloyds Banking Group has been given the go-ahead to proceed with a £13.5bn rights issue as part of a wider capital-raising. Given their knowledge of the extent of the challenges facing the bank, were the tripartite authorities (the FSA,  Bank of England and H.M. Treasury) well-advised to …

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Kroes means business

In Blog by Ian Fraser4 Comments

23 August 2009 European commissioner Neelie Kroes means business when it comes to breaking up banks that have received state-aid but which have too dominant a position in their home markets — and she has Lloyds Banking Group and RBS firmly in her sights. A former Dutch government minister, Kroes …

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Lloyds ‘is starving small firms’ of credit

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: The Sunday Times Date: 19 July 2009 Scotland’s finance secretary John Swinney has accused Lloyds Banking Group, owner of HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland, of abusing their dominant position in the Scottish banking market and of starving small and medium-sized businesses of access to finance. …

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The recklessness of Cummings

In Blog by Ian Fraser12 Comments

13 July  2009 Speaking on Bloomberg TV, Justin Urquhart-Stewart, director of Seven Investment Management, has described HBOS as being “pregnant with the spawn of Satan” by the time Lloyds TSB saved it from extinction last September. I don’t think he’s far wrong. Most of the damage was done in the corporate …

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A wake for HBOS… and the birth of a new era?

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 11 January 2009 THE scene was like that of a Jacobite conspiracy THE SCENE was like that of a Jacobite conspiracy. Around 20 Scots from different walks of life – bankers, lawyers, architects, business people and journalists – came together in the candlelit …

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Howard’s unorthodox riding style may yet cripple the black horse

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

12 December 2008 HOWARD Brown, the Halifax teller-turned-minor celebrity,  risks crippling his new steed, Lloyds TSB’s black horse, with his cavalier riding style. HBOS’s trading update this morning is scary stuff. In what appears to be an exercise in “kitchen sinking”, HBOS has revealed that its balance sheet is in …

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Sir George on Peston: he’s a Treasury puppet and it’s a disgrace

In Blog by Ian Fraser2 Comments

16 November 2008 Former Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir George Mathewson doesn’t think too highly of BBC business editor Robert Peston (who was lampooned in Silly Money, tonight’s Bremner Bird & Fortune programme). In an interview published in today’s Sunday Times (Mathewson: Riding to the rescue of HBOS), Mathewson who retired from …

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Scots bid to rescue HBOS from takeover

In Article Library by Ian Fraser1 Comment

By Ian Fraser and Michael Tait Published: The Mail on Sunday Date: 9 November 2008 Top bankers launch amazing boardroom coup TWO of Scotland’s most prominent bankers yesterday launched an audacious coup to take control of troubled HBOS. Sir Peter Burt and Sir George Mathewson have demanded the resignation of …