View Full Version : Scots in Shock Over Crash of HBOS, A Revered Institution

Thursday, September 18th, 2008, 09:57 PM
Scots in shock over crash of HBOS, a revered institution

Scottish Correspondent
Telegraph 17/09/2008

There was a sense of astonishment in Edinburgh yesterday that one of the city's most revered institutions, and the oldest commercial bank in Britain, could have been brought to its knees in the space of 48 hours.................

North of the border, HBOS is still known to most people simply as the Bank of Scotland.

The brass plaque on the old headquarters on The Mound states that it was founded in 1695.............

However, the bank has rarely seen more turbulent times in its 313-year history.

Investors balk at HBOS rescue by Lloyds---

---( boring perhaps (!) but solid even so !! :D )

One commentator talked of a mood of "shock and disbelief" as news of the crash in the share price filtered through.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister, attacked "spivs and speculators" for targeting the Scottish-based bank.:D:(

There were reports of customers - many of them elderly - removing savings from branches in Edinburgh's city centre;), while bank workers who retired with a nest egg of shares were left counting the cost of the credit crisis.:(

Colin Johnson, 57, who left the bank seven years ago, said his shares, which had been worth 11.50 last year, had dropped to just 88p at one point yesterday.

Mr Johnson blamed the merger seven years ago of the Bank of Scotland and the Halifax as much as the current state of the financial markets, lamenting the fact that the bank no longer "did what it was good at".

At lunchtime, at the bank's administrative offices on the outskirts of the city, the staff were left chewing over the potential implications of the merger, and suggestions that up to 40,000 jobs could be lost nationwide.

Liz Donnelly, 38, who has worked in the corporate division for 11 years, said the uncertainty was disruptive.

"My manager says it's a lightning strike scenario and could have happened to any bank, so none of us is to blame," said Ms Donnelly.

"We pride ourselves on working for a safe and sound organisation, and it's a shame that reputation is out of our hands."


The Bank was effectively taken over by LloydsTSB and will proably now be run from London..... with over time numerous job losses and "rationalizations". Sound managment has its price!!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008, 01:26 PM
Scotland's banking shame is the Union's gain

By Alan Cochrane

Telegraph 14/10/2008

That Scotland in general, but Edinburgh in particular, is in a profound state of shock goes without saying. The country and its capital has awoken to the news that its two most precious assets were such basket cases that they had to be bailed out by the Government.

Overshadowing the shock is a feeling of acute embarrassment, shame even, that RoyalBankScotl. and HBOS should have been brought so low. These banks, both of which have their headquarters in Edinburgh, gave a country of five million people a place on the world stage. Yet here they are having to be part-taken over by a Labour Government. Their reputations for financial prudence and banking rectitude - traditionally the twin watchwords of Scottish bankers - are in tatters.

On Princes Street, even those with not the slightest inkling of the ways of high finance were bewildered by this humiliating turn of events. While most Scots object to their reputation as being dour skinflints, there is no doubt that they are quietly smug about the fact that, when applied to the country's banks and other parts of the financial services industry, such qualities are seen as major attributes. They delight in so many Scots accents helping the financial world go around. Or rather, they used to.

As did the First Minister. Sitting in his wood-panelled office in St Andrew's House, seat of Scotland's devolved administration, Alex Salmond was counting another likely cost of the unprecedented action - the body blow it delivers to his hopes of achieving an independent Scotland. (???)

The vibrant financial services industry was a vital pillar of Salmond's hopes of breaking away. But with these two massive institutions now under the control of the British taxpayer and, more significantly, the British Government, he'll have to go back to the drawing board.

As a former economist with RBS, it is all the more galling for Salmond. He is steeped in Scottish banking lore and is on first-name terms with most of the managers at both banks; indeed Sir George Matthewson, former chairman of RBS, was the first significant Scottish commercial figure to support Salmond and Scottish independence before last year's Holyrood elections.

An astute politician, Salmond has always pitched his appeal to the voters by combining the emotional as well as the economic cases for independence. Both, however, are now looking as bust as the banks.

Only a few weeks ago, he was calling on Scots to emulate countries such as Ireland, Iceland, (Norway and Denmark) in what he termed an "Arc of Prosperity" surrounding Scotland. Now all are either in recession, heading that way or, in Iceland's case, paying a horrendous price for financial irresponsibility. Hence their new nickname - the "Arc of Insolvency", of which Scotland is now also a part...................

RBS and HBOS helped make Edinburgh Britain's second biggest and one of Europe's biggest financial centres. Their reputation for caution and respectability was jealously guarded by Scots, but when "the Royal" took over NatWest in 2000 - beating off a rival bid from "the Bank" in the process - there was an enormous amount of pride that a small Scottish concern could gobble up a much bigger English entity.

But pride has turned to ashes in the mouths of most Scots because that takeover began the aggressive and extraordinary expansion of this once tiny operation. RBS swallowed up NatWest, which was then quickly followed by a merger of the Bank of Scotland and Halifax, the building society-turned bank, to form HBOS.

While the latter venture's head office and brass plate remained at The Mound in Edinburgh, key management decisions would be taken by the top men at Halifax. The whole ethos of the bank changed, along with its ornate head office branch, where genteel Edinburgh ladies kept an eye on their savings accounts: it was transformed into a hospitality centre where bank executives entertained corporate clients.

Long-term Bank of Scotland staff were soon complaining that the Halifax men, led by former supermarket boss Andy Hornby (the "Haliban", as they were called) were calling the tune. If embarrassment is now the primary emotion of Bank of Scotland loyalists, then anger at the way the bank was remodelled after the merger is not far behind.

The change in HBOS, though, was as nothing when compared with RBS. From modest offices in St Andrew's Square, its HQ is now almost a small town - on the outskirts of Edinburgh, it has it own shopping malls and restaurants and its own serried ranks of reserved parking spaces at nearby Edinburgh airport.

There, Sir Fred Goodwin, the departing chief executive, was treated like royalty, called to the British Airways London shuttle separately from ordinary mortals and invariably given the same airplane seat - 1A. (!!!)

However, while much of the reaction to this crisis will concentrate on the financial implications, the political consequences are likely to be perhaps more significant.

Three hundred and eight years ago, the Scottish nation beggared itself with its ill-fated attempt to found a colony at Darien on the mosquito and disease ridden isthmus of Panama. That national catastrophe led, seven years later, to its joining forces with England in the Treaty of Union. ((???really ))

Could it be that another financial calamity will make the maintenance of that Union appear even more essential for Scots?


OK folks --- no joy at Socialists taking over our banks !! ( -- no wonder their prices FELL..... we havent heard the end of all this ..........)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008, 03:50 PM
I bank with the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is also being Nationalised. The whole thing just has an horrendous, nightmarish quality to it, and despite the (I think) false optimism of this `bail out` I believe the Scots will be paying for this..literally as well as metaphorically..for a long time to come. :(
What a mess.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008, 07:55 PM
I bank with the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is also being Nationalised. The whole thing just has an horrendous, nightmarish quality to it, and despite the (I think) false optimism of this `bail out` I believe the Scots will be paying for this..literally as well as metaphorically..for a long time to come. :(
What a mess.

They were only ever puppets of the Bank of England - with a Scottish name. Cromwell and the Dutch Jews who financed him and bribed the Churchill family to back William of Orange facilitated in later years the the union and the visiting of England national debt upon Scotland.

An excellent book for you to read on the subject would be 'The Nameless War' by Captain Ramsay

Here it is:


Please excuse the source ;)

It is an anti-Semitic book, but it does reveal the prevaling attitude of the true British patriots of their time and it is not a pro-Christian work, just patriotic.

I am just assuming that you have not read it.

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the problems we face, but take it with a small pinch of salt. You will not need much though.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Thank you, I haven`t read it so will check it out. :)
(even given the source :P )