Thursday, 22 January 2009

Any Questions?

Mr Smith agrees that the bosses of the big banks should be called to account for their dismal handling of their businesses not least Sir Fred "the Shred" Goodwin for his management of Royal Bank of Scotland which led to losses this week of £28 billion being reported. But Mr Smith thinks it should be Westminster that does the cross examination and not the Scottish Parliament.

"The former bosses of Scotland's biggest banks yesterday faced calls to appear before a Scottish Parliament inquiry after Labour suggested that Holyrood should have its own probe into why the captains of the banking industry fell so low. Labour wants Sir Fred Goodwin, of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Andy Hornby, of HBOS, to be held to account for their "mismanagement".

If Westminster doesn't act though then someone should be asking some questions publicly of the banks given that the great Scottish public are effectively all bankers now by massively underwriting most of them. But some MSPS might be prefering to forget the fact that many of them supported and tabled a series of Motions in the Scottish Parliament praising RBS as far back as 2005. The most fawning Motion from February 2008, lodged by Murdo Fraser MSP, stated:

"That the Parliament congratulates the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) and HBOS plc for achieving year-end pre-tax profits of £9.9 billion and £5.47 billion respectively in 2007; welcomes the strong profit margins, which have come during an unstable time for the banking sector across the world, thus underlining the strength and success of these two major Scottish-headquartered companies; recognises the importance and contribution that both banks make to the Scottish economy and applauds their continued positions among the world leaders in the banking and financial sectors; also notes the various foundations and charities that RBS and HBOS donate to and work with, as well as the importance that they give to corporate social responsibility; and believes that all Scotland should celebrate the continued success of RBS and HBOS."

It was signed by a number of MSPs, namely, Jamie McGrigor, Derek Brownlee, Alex Johnstone, John Lamont, Elizabeth Smith, Nanette Milne, John Scott, Stuart McMillan, Jackie Baillie, Mary Scanlon, Jamie Stone, Bill Aitken, Iain Gray, Gil Paterson, Liam McArthur, Rt Hon Jack McConnell, Tom McCabe.

Mr Smith wonders if they will be rethinking their support in light of more recent events.

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