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Hard hats for bankers

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 been the bank’s chief executive […]

October 13th, 2014 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

US law firm takes on action group’s case against RBS

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 12 October 2014 Several hundred businesses that claim to have suffered at the hands of Royal Bank of Scotland’s “turnaround” division have appointed US law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to represent them in a planned case against the bank. The RBS GRG Business Action Group members […]

October 12th, 2014 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Banks’ swap-for-swap deals anger campaigners

By Ian Fraser Published: The Times Date: 29 September 2014 Small businesses, MPs and campaigners are calling for an inquiry into the Financial Conduct Authority’s handling of banks’ mis-selling of complex financial products to small businesses. Guto Bebb, a Conservative MP and chairman of an all-party parliamentary group on the issue, said: “There is no […]

September 29th, 2014 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

A true rebranding … or lipstick on a pig?

By Ian Fraser Published: Mail on Sunday (Scottish edition) Date: 17 August 2014 RBS’s decision to scrap the three-letter acronym it has used for eleven years and assert its heritage by readopting the Royal Bank of Scotland title and refurbishing branches with a “heather, tartan and tweed” theme will get the nation thinking. Is this […]

August 17th, 2014 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

RBS: papering over the cracks

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 Fraser As a damage limitation […]

August 17th, 2014 | Posted in Article Library | Read More »

Ross McEwan: “RBS is a yacht with a spinnaker up”

July 13th, 2014 On 2 May 2014, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s New Zealand-born chief executive, Ross McEwan, unveiled a surprisingly strong set of financial results for the bank that he has led since 1 October 2013. But has it really turned the corner? McEwan the and RBS’s outgoing finance director Nathan Bostock then answered […]

July 12th, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

Shredded Tweets

July 7th, 2014 Here is a selection of tweets about Shredded: Inside RBS The Bank That Broke Britain which was published by Birlinn Books on 6 June (a few other Shredded Tweets are posted here). I’d like to thank all the senders of these messages for buying the book, reading it, and for their positive feedback. It’s heartening […]

July 7th, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

The FCA no less ‘captured’ than its predecessor

June 27th, 2014 (minor edits Oct 3rd) The Financial Conduct Authority, established in April 2013, has failed its first test. Its review of the interest rate swaps that were sold on an industrial scale by banks to gullible small business customers, especially in 2004-08, has fallen short on a number of fronts. (for more on the fraudulent […]

June 27th, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

RBS job advert casts doubt on the assertions of Sach

June 26th, 2014 The Royal Bank of Scotland seems to be rather confused over whether its infamous Global Restructuring Group is run as a “profit centre”. A job advertisement placed by the bank in January 2014, clearly states that the “role purpose” of relationship managers within GRG is to be “a major contributor to the […]

June 26th, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Read More »

RBS’s annual general meeting was more placid than usual

June 26th, 2014 The Royal Bank of Scotland, which last year made losses of £8.2 billion, held its annual general meeting yesterday. The shareholders’ gathering was a slightly calmer affair than some of the recent ones I have attended. Held at the bank’s sprawling, campus-style “world headquarters” at Gogarburn, near Edinburgh – itself a monument to the hubris […]

June 26th, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Read More »