Tag Archives: rbs

Clegg acts to ensure opportunities for all young people

Nick Clegg is spending today announcing new initiatives to help young people with their career choices by improving career advice in schools, allowing job centre plus to give advice to 16 and 17 year olds and to improve opportunities for work experience.  There will be a UCAS style “one-stop shop” to help those young people.

From today’s Independent:

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will pledge to “end the snobbery surrounding vocational education” that limits the prospects of those who do not go to university, and promise them “an equal shot” by helping them to make the right choice after taking

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Vince on Scottish independence: RBS would ‘inevitably’ move to London

It’s not often we hear from the Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable on constitutional matters. But today he appeared before Parliament’s Business, Innovation and Skills Committee to discuss the implications for business of Scottish independence, ahead of September’s referendum. Here’s what he said (via the BBC):

RBS would “inevitably” move its headquarters to London if Scotland votes for independence, UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has claimed. Mr Cable told a committee of MPs that the bank would want to be based where it was “protected against the risk of collapse”. …

William Bain, Labour MP for Glasgow North East, asked

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Opinion: Which side are we on?

RBS logoAllegations have recently come to light that RBS engaged in a programme of ‘deliberately wrecking small businesses’ in order to seize their assets on the cheap and boost their own profits. The case is another story in which we, the public, are shocked but not surprised. The response of the government and, in particular, Vince Cable will be watched very closely indeed.

It is interesting to view this story in the light of other recent events.

Take the sale of a student loans book to an investment consortium at a price …

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Opinion: RBS bonuses this year. Don’t.

If there is one issue where destiny seems be demanding the Liberal Democrats to be bold, it is the issue of Britain’s dysfunctional banking system. Ninety per cent of the banking industry goes through the Big Six in the UK, some of which are not actually UK banks at all – and, in those circumstances, it is hardly surprising that they don’t do the job that needs doing. Funding local enterprise.

A fortnight or so ago, things were looking quite bleak, at least for the coalition’s will to act. George Osborne had indicated that he wasn’t going to force the banks to be transparent …

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Wlliams: RBS must use profits to help struggling businesses

RBS is the latest British bank to return to profit, with the 84% state-owned bank reporting a first-half pre-tax profit of £1.14bn yesterday. This prompted Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Treasury Policy Committee, Stephen Williams, to make call for RBS to make greater efforts to assist UK firms:

RBS is almost entirely owned by the taxpayer, so these huge profits must be used for the national interest and not just to pay massive bonuses to senior staff. There is no excuse for RBS not to loan to good British companies that are struggling to get credit. We cannot simply allow

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Vince: RBS should not pay out bonuses while bank making losses

Bonuses for bankers: can they be justified? That’s the question everyone’s asking following RBS’s announcement that it made eye-watering losses of £3.6bn, but paid out bonues to staff worth £1.3bn.

Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable is dubious:

It’s hard to understand why £1.3bn is being paid out in bonuses when RBS continues to make losses. RBS rewarding individual bankers is like a football team paying their striker for scoring when they’ve just been relegated.  

“While it is good news that RBS is meeting its mortgage lending target, its lending to business has fallen. The Government has to get a grip and

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LibLink … Vince Cable: Mandelson melted like a creme egg as the vultures swooped

Over at the Mail, Lib Dem shadow chancellor Vince Cable writes about Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury, arguing that government policy has failed in three ways: by ignoring the damage mergers do to the economy; by refusing to curb the company voting rights of short-term speculators; and by letting a state-owned bank lend the money which sealed the deal. Here’s an excerpt:

I feel for the Cadbury workers, but that alone is not enough explanation for the anger over the deal and the significance of the takeover. Nor is the fact that Kraft is American. Britain has long been open to foreign

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When should the state intervene? RBS, Kraft & Cadbury and the Eternal Liberal Dilemma

US firm Kraft’s proposed takeover of Cadbury’s has made headlines in recent days. First, because it’s a major, historic British brand being snapped-up by a non-UK business (or ‘foreign predator’, as Vince Cable labels them). Secondly, because of the fear that job losses will result. And, thirdly, because of the role of the Royal Bank of Scotland – in which the British government has a majority stake-holding – in lending the money to Kraft which will fund its acquisition of Cadbury’s.

The Lib Dems – in the shape of Nick Clegg and Vince – have sharply questioned the role of the Government in the takeover. At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Nick asked Gordon Brown:

… there is a simple principle at stake. Tens of thousands of British companies are crying out for that money to protect jobs, and instead RBS wants to lend it to a multinational with a record of cutting jobs. When British taxpayers bailed out the banks, they would never have believed that their money would be used to put British people out of work. Is that not just plain wrong?

Posted in Op-eds and PMQs | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: We will continue to reward failure in our banks, until we reform severance pay

Large potential severance payments continue to be built into the executive pay packages of directors of the newly nationalized UK banks. If the banking system is to be reformed, we must make make executives truly responsible for the decisions they take.

Bankers used to justify their disproportionately large paychecks and bonuses by arguing that they took on exceptional amounts of risk in their pay. Bankers were paid a large proportion of their income in shares, which reflected the value of the bank. If they did not perform, neither would their companies and neither would their shares. In short, bankers …

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How much is £693,000 a year?

£693,000 a year is what Sir Fred Goodwin is getting from his RBS pension.* That works out at a shade over £13,300 each week. By comparison, Blackpool Council has just advertised for an administrator to work in their social services department (a pretty important role to my mind given how often it turns out administration has gone wrong when a tragic case comes to light). It will be paying around the same with only two small differences. What Sir Fred gets each week, the administrator gets a year – and Sir Fred doesn’t have to do anything for his money.

* …

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