James Moore: RBS has a lot to learn if it’s to regain customers’ trust
Outlook Oh dear. Just days after its chief executive Ross McEwan had again talked about his ambition to turn Royal Bank of Scotland into a paragon of banking virtue, it has egg all over its face again.
The thrower was Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury Committee, who accused the bank of being “wilfully obtuse” over whether its Global Restructuring Group, which deals with distressed businesses, was run as an internal profit centre for the bank.
No less than Sir Andrew Large, former deputy governor the Bank of England, said that it was in a report into the treatment of small businesses by RBS, written at the bank’s behest.
A report which the bank, and its senior executives, were given prior to publication. They raised no objections to the term.
Then Michael Cooper, the bank’s senior public affairs manager, wrote to the committee to say that “GRG does not act as a profit sector”. The bank’s deputy chief executive, Chris Sullivan, and the head of GRG, Derek Sach, made the same argument. Now Mr Sullivan is back with some “additional comments” in the wake of a letter from a miffed Sir Andrew to the committee which, among other things, said that GRG staff used the term freely in correspondence with him.
Mr Sullivan now says that he and Mr Sach had no disagreement with the way the term was used by Sir Andrew. Only with the way other people have used it. By the way, he’d like to clarify that he had been given a copy of the report prior to publication. Even though he’d said he hadn’t.
The problem is there is nothing in the evidence, either oral or written, to suggest that Messrs Sullivan and Sach were disagreeing with others’ interpretation of Sir Andrew. In fact, Mr Sach explicitly stated that he believed Sir Andrew had got it wrong.
Mr Tyrie is not a man given to casual sound bites, otherwise he might very well have said something very much stronger than “wilfully obtuse” before a committee in response to all this.
Mr Cooper may simply have been doing his master’s bidding. But Messrs Sullivan and Sach, who have yet to make any apology, have managed between them to make the bank look cynical and duplicitous. It appears we’re not quite as far removed from the bad old days of RBS as Mr McEwan would have us believe.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...
$125 - $175 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Senior Wealth Manager In...
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...