Pembroke: SIB wobbles

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The Independent Online
What appeared at first sight to be seismological developments at the Securities and Investments Board may turn out to be no more than 1.5 on the Richter scale.

Christopher Boyce is taking the well-trodden path from the Securities and Futures Authority to the SIB, to implement the Norman Lamont-initiated review into its procedures.

Hopes that the appointment will lead to the much-heralded shake-up at the City watchdog may be a little premature. Mr Boyce is on nine months' secondment starting in June. And as yet the review has not been handed to the Treasury. An action-packed secondment beckons.

The silliest award ever? Possibly. The Royal Bank of Scotland's Cashline yesterday took the fiercely contested title of Britain's busiest hole-in-the-wall network. The secret of its success? According to Nigel Spencer, manager for network development, 'we have tailored it to what our customers told us they wanted'. Cash, presumably.

Michael Jackaman, chairman of Allied-Lyons, was in fine form at yesterday's results announcement. Reeling off a string of anniversaries for 18 May, which included one Napoleon Bonaparte becoming Emperor of France in 1804, he noted that in 1961 the first London production of The Sound of Music was presented.

'I did suggest that we all dress as nuns, but my colleagues said they preferred to do that at weekends,' he said.

Not an auspicious outing for Credit Lyonnais Laing at the testimonial on Monday of David O'Leary, Arsenal's veteran defender. The brokers unwisely took on Wellingborough Town at half-time and ended up at the wrong end of a 2-0 thrashing.

To add insult to injury, the announcer failed to get his tongue properly around 'Credit Lyonnais Laing'.