Credit crisis diary: A night out with a load of bankers

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The Independent Online

Ever wondered what a government minister looks like after an 18-hour session negotiating with bankers? Good on Yvette Cooper, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, for making it into the House of Commons yesterday after being involved in all-night talks over the terms of the asset protection scheme. But she did look a little knocked out after finally thrashing out the detail of the latest banking bailout.

So has Chris Ronnie quit or not?

When is a resignation not a resignation? The answer is when it involves the beleaguered sports retailer JJB. Yesterday, the Manchester law firm Pannone issued a statement confirming that Chris Ronnie, JJB's chief executive, had resigned. Within hours, however, JJB issued a Stock Exchange statement warning that Pannone's statement had been issued "without its knowledge". While JJB confirmed Mr Ronnie had tendered his resignation, the sports retailer said the deal had not been sealed because both parties had yet to reach a deal on his settlement.

An award to forget

More embarrassment for The Banker, the FT Magazines publication that chronicles the profession's goings-on. Revelations over Royal Bank of Scotland sent the world scurrying to the bank's last annual report yesterday, published at the end of 2007. There, in bold letters, they were reminded that RBS was The Banker's bank of the year that year, a detail that the magazine strangely no longer seems to be mentioning on its website.

McFall fluffs his lines

John McFall, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, enjoys grilling miscreants from the banking world, but doesn't stand up to interrogation too well himself. On BBC 2's Newsnight on Wednesday, Mr McFall got so flustered he couldn't even remember what UKFI, the initials of the Government unit set up to run failed banks, stood for. It's UK Financial Investments, Mr McFall.

One way to get out of refunding customers

Banks are playing for time on unauthorised overdraft charges, signalling they would appeal again yesterday after a Court of Appeal decision that the Office of Fair Trading is entitled to investigate this scandal. After all, by the time all these legal challenges are over, maybe there won't be any banks left.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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