Business Diary: FSA boss forced to see the light
Friday 24 June 2011
The Financial Services Authority is getting better at cracking down on white-collar crime, but its annual general meeting yesterday was an opportunity for people to turn the tables and ask it some searching questions for once. And whoever rigged the lighting for the bash clearly saw expected an interrogation – Adair Turner, the FSA's chairman, had to spend the whole meeting shading his eyes from the bright spotlight shining directly into his face.
A Greek gift to struggling Ireland
While the Greek sovereign debt crisis might be expected to weigh heavily on other indebted eurozone countries, the enterprising folk of Ireland have come up with a way to capitalise on the affair. The Irish finance minister Michael Noonan told journalists yesterday he was considering having a load of T-shirts printed with this simple slogan: "Ireland is not Greece". The idea is to make it clear that just because Ireland has been bailed out in the same way as Greece does not mean it willsuffer the same fate. And there's some money to make too – "We won't give them away, we'll sell them," Noonan added.
Tesco suffers systems failure
Plenty of people, including us, hope that Tesco might one day shake up the banking market by launching a current account to rival the products from our tired old traditional providers – like Royal Bank of Scotland, for example. But let's hope Tesco learns from the experience of what happened when it migrated its savings accounts off RBS's systems to its own computer software at the beginning of this week. Some customers have now been locked out of their accounts for four days.
Goldman's fall from grace in US
Goldman Sachs has retained its position at the top of the Thomson Reuters deal adviser league tables – advising on 170 deals worth a cool $340bn in the first half. But what's this? The bank dubbed the "vampire squid" in its home market has been knocked off its perch, trailing Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in fifth for deals "with some US involvement". A blip, or are all those negative headlines finally starting to bite when companies look at who to advise them on M&A?
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