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Swaps film: how banks ran rings around SMEs

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

June 25th, 2014 This short film uses extracts from a telephone call between a bank salesman and one of its business customers to illustrate how a bank, thought to be the Royal Bank of Scotland, essentially conned a business into purchasing an interest-rate hedging product that would be seriously damaging to its health. The other two voices …

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On the trail of Fred the Shred

In Article Library by Ian Fraser2 Comments

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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Chuka Umunna: PWC’s useful idiot?

In Blog by Ian Fraser1 Comment

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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RBS whistleblower: ‘It was simply outrageous what went on’

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

December 7th, 2013 A former insider at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Irish subsidiary, Ulster Bank, has shed further light on the alleged systematic abuse of business customers by the bank’s “recovery and restructuring” arm, which includes Global Restructuring Group and West Register. In a candid interview with Ireland’s Sunday Independent …

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The “financial terrorism” of Royal Bank of Scotland

In Blog by Ian Fraser8 Comments

November 27th, 2013 (updated November 28th, 2013) (minor edits December 1st, 2013) Another of the banking scandals I’ve been covering for more than three years is gaining a wider audience, following the publication of the Tomlinson Report on Monday and this morning’s confirmation from the Financial Times that the Serious Fraud …

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£1 trillion timebombs RBS must defuse

In Article Library by Ian Fraser2 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Sunday Herald Date: 3 November 2013 It will not be broken up … but the future is far from plain sailing. By Ian Fraser Ross McEwan had a baptism of fire on Friday when he made his first set-piece announcement as chief executive of Royal Bank …

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The Parliamentary Review: Review of the Year in Finance

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: The Parliamentary Review Date: September 30th, 2013 The Libor scandal It was described as the banking industry’s ‘tobacco moment’. In June last year, Barclays was fined £290 million by US and UK regulators and judicial authorities after it admitted to systematically rigging the London Inter-Bank Offered …

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

In Blog by Ian Fraser2 Comments

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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Hester got RBS back on an even keel

In Article Library by Ian Fraser2 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Daily Record Date: June 13th, 2013 Stephen Hester’s five years at the helm of Royal Bank of Scotland were nothing if not tumultuous. Under his predecessor, Fred Goodwin, retail banking operations were used as a cash cow to fund overseas expansion, staff were demoralised by a …