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Hard hats for bankers

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By Ian Fraser Published: Business Quarter (BQ) Date: 13 October 2014 At a dinner to mark the departure of chief executive Stephen Hester in September 2013, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s finance director Bruce van Saun gave Hester’s anointed heir, Ross McEwan, an unusual present. Hester, a keen horseman, had …

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RBS: papering over the cracks

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By: Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 17 August 2014 The decision by RBS to dissolve its Global Restructuring Group, an arm of the bank that stands accused of destroying viable UK businesses for profit, will do little to repair the damage caused to the bank’s beleaguered reputation. By Ian …

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On the trail of Fred the Shred

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 8 June 2014 Ian Fraser’s new book, Shredded – Inside RBS: the Bank that Broke Britain, has been acclaimed as the definitive account of the crisis. Here he reflects on the 13 things he learned along the long, hard road to publication (1) …

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Thousands of staff line up to sue RBS

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 27 April 2014 A third of the 12,000 plus individuals who have signed up to sue the Royal Bank of Scotland over its “misleading” £12.3 billion 2008 rights issue are current or former members of staff at the bank. RBoS Shareholders’ Action Group, …

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Chuka Umunna: PWC’s useful idiot?

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January 23rd, 2014 I’ve long wondered how committed the Labour shadow business secretary and MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna really is to UK banking reform. It seems the answer is “not very”. In the furore that followed the publication of the Tomlinson Report on November 25 last year, a report …

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EADS chief executive Robin Southwell drawn into a hornet’s nest

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December 20th, 2013 In June and August 2010 I reported on the business relationship between the EADS (UK) chief executive Robin Southwell (pictured right) and David Mills — a “business turnaround” specialist and former NatWest banker who was charged with conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and money laundering on 8 …

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The banality of vulture financing: The placid face of RBS’s distressed debt recycling facility

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September 10th, 2013 (minor edits November 4th, 2014) Derek Sach inadvertently gave away some of RBS’s trade secrets in this interview with Debtwire’s Mario Oliviero. Sach — who is in charge of RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank’s so-called Global Restructuring Group — was interviewed during the Debtwire European Forum in London’s Dorchester …

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Stephen Hester just doesn’t get it

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By Ian Fraser Published: Daily Record Date: March 1st, 2013 Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester was yesterday touring the television studios trying to convince us that he is absolutely determined to make RBS into a “really good bank” once again. The fox-hunting laird of Gogarburn also told us …

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Clydesdale’s retreat

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By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 6 May 2012 It was supposed to be Scotland’s safe bank. What went wrong? By Ian Fraser Call it Cameron Clyne’s ‘Derby’ moment. At a council of war in that East Midlands city in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie had to concede that weak …