back to article Small biz still struggling for funding as RBS flounders

Royal Bank of Scotland has recorded the largest loss in UK corporate history and is being bailed out again by the Treasury, while small and medium businesses are still struggling to get hold of credit. RBS lost £40bn before tax in 2008, despite two government bailouts, on a total income of £25.8bn - after excluding parts of …


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  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Toxic Assets

    I wish that people would stop using that phrase, it makes it sound as if they were unfortunate to catch something that was not their fault. How about some more truthful phrases:

    Dodgy Loans

    Foolish Lending

  2. Dan


    Go on, Gordon and Alistair, keep throwing money at them, that'll solve it!


  3. Piers

    Minister for the death of the UK economy Lord Myners...

    Ahhhh, yes, Reg cynicism. Like it...

  4. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    Domino Rally...

    If RBS was to fall, it'd take a LOT of other little dominoes with it.

    It would make the current 'recession' look like a dimple by comparison.

  5. Mark


    What a monumental fucking disaster. Let this be an example to all companies that think they can become global players by acquisition rather than being decent companies. Utterly useless tossers, especially the CEO who decided that intercontinental dick-swinging in the face of oblivion was the best policy when hunting ABN AMRO.

  6. Paul Murphy

    Why not ....

    Too late now, but

    Wait for each bank to fail, the Bank of England then buys them up cheaply.

    Then the government (is that still the right word?) can control bonuses, lending etc. whilst protecting jobs, not rewarding failure and keeping money circulating.

    The big change would be allowing the bank of England to take deposits and make loans.

    So much of our money wasted, and we'll spend decades paying it back.

    I'm sad...


  7. Chris Miller

    Relinquishing your pension

    Apparently Fred 'the Shred' has been asked to consider giving up some or all of his £650,000 a year pension "on a voluntary basis". It certainly seems obvious that those responsible for one of the biggest cock-ups in financial history should not be allowed to benefit from it in so egregious a fashion.

    No doubt we will soon be hearing from Messrs Brown and Campbell that they too will be giving up their taxpayer funded pensions "on a voluntary basis". I'm not holding my breath, though.

  8. John Imrie


    Wouldn't it have been cheaper to let RBS fail and protect the depositors to 100%. Then some one could have bought the useful bits as a going concern and left the crap behind.

    Instead of which we seam to have bought a bank with so much crap it's about to post the biggest loss in UK Corporate history. And we are also left insuring the banks against further losses.

    Go Icon because no one can stop this madness.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Should have let them all fail...

    and within hours, new players would have appeared, unencumbered by the deadwood that seems to be in charge at the moment.

    Ask yourself - if your business gets into trouble, will you be able to ask Gordon for a handout?

    Thought not.

  10. dervheid

    "we'll spend decades paying it back"

    Wrong units of time.

    I believe the units you require are 'centuries', possibly 'millennia' .

    As for "Fred the Shred" doing the decent thing, it'll be a frosty day in hell...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    I'm sorry...

    A "British bank" employs ten thousand people on the cheap offshore in India and they expect any kind of favorable treatment from UK PLC?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I've worked with some of their 1000 developers ...

    And I think the reset button should be pressed. The biggest top-heavy bureaucratic mess I've ever seen.

  13. Chris Miller

    My post @ 12:48

    Sorry Darling, wrong Alistair - for Campbell read Darling.

  14. dervheid

    @ nonymous Coward Posted Thursday 26th February 2009 13:04 GMT

    True, but then it's not likely to be part of the centre-pin of the Global Economy. Hence my 'domino rally' analogy previously.

    RBS is just about one of the biggest 'dominoes' on the planet.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Voluntary Pension Recovery

    How can someone who has presided over the biggest banking disaster the UK has seen be asked voluntarily to give up £650,000 a year ?. This is my idea of 'voluntary recovery'.The government (you know, the one WE are underwriting with OUR hard earned taxes) should be despatching our SAS round to his mansion to recover OUR money and then assist him in having an accident involving a high window. Oh, and not before he has had a size ten SAS style hobnail boot up his !@*# !!!

    What a joke. Private Enterprise (or crookery known by its true name) has taken no risk and the taxpayer has picked up the bill. In a few years time HMG will flog it off cheaply and the whole lot will be picked up and a killing made by the same criminals who got us into this mess.

  16. Tom Paine

    TINA: There Is No Alternative

    If you allow RBS et al to go bust, all the loans on their books get recalled to put towards paying back the creditors. That wouldn't do much for "small biz", except put 98% of them out of business overnight. Surely that's not a hard concept to grasp...

  17. John Imrie

    @Tom Paine

    Why would the debts be called back? They are assets and can be sold of to pay back the banks loans and, if there is any money left, its share holders.

  18. Carl Williams
    Thumb Up

    The best Idea is

    To pass an amendment to the corporate responsibility laws that make the idiot execs accountable for their actions in jail time and stripping of the ill gotten gains. First ones to go to prison and have their assets ceased should be the ones in charge of RBS.

  19. John A Blackley

    The long way around

    The government - essentially - took over Northern Rock (all the while failing, spectacularly, to see the portent therein) and, after many tries and many foolish statements now owns RBS.

    Would it not have been cheaper, less painful and more effective for the government to simply have allowed RBS to close and simultaneously reopen as a government bank - backed the the government's ability (and the citizens' apparent willingness thereto) to tax everyone in the UK until they drop? Instantly you have control over lending, assurance on so-called 'toxic assets' and - and this is petty and irrelevant but I like the idea - an immediate end to the disgusting payment of bonuses to abject failures.

    Yes, it's 20/20 hindsight but then, I'm not a power-junkie who claims to know what's best for the country.

  20. Jon Axtell

    @John A Blackley

    "an immediate end to the disgusting payment of bonuses to abject failures."

    Not if you see the bonuses and large salaries paid to some civil servants. All that would happen is that there would be more red tape to ensure "targets" are met. Also, the people who would be put in charge would be in the boys club not people who actually have experience. Part of the problem with this sorry mess is that the people at the top didn't know how to run a bank - a shop yes, a bank no.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jon Axtell

    Hey! A shop?

    These guys have admitted they did not understand the derivatives that were making them huge sums - they did not know their own product.

    They don't know how to run *anything*.

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