RBS, Barclays unsurprisingly caught up in more trouble

Business banking news review: week ending 13 Feb 2014

Some days it doesn’t rain but it pours – and if you’re either Royal Bank of Scotland or Barclays this week you know that feeling all too well.

RBS has been given an official warning this week from Mody’s, the credit rating agency, that the beleaguered bank faces a very real danger of having its credit rating downgraded based on a possible financial weakness brought about by last month’s profits. The expected loss – which should go public in around a week or so, and follows hot on the heels of its announcement that interest rate swaps, the PPI mis-selling scandal and US sub-prime mortgage crisis would lead to at least £3 billion in losses – should be somewhere in the realm of a massively depressing £8 billion. Is it any wonder that Moody’s is thinking very carefully about RBS and its credit rating? I know I’m not particularly shocked by the revelation.

Of course, things aren’t so hot for Barclays this week either, as it turns out shedloads of confidential customer files have been pilfered from the bank and then sold on the black market! The personal details included covered financial and health information, national insurance numbers, and passport details, according to the press, all dating back to 2008 and included information from the now-defunct Barclays Financial Planning division, which was shuttered in 2011.

So yes, it simply doesn’t pay to be an executive or an employee of either of these fine financial establishments at the moment. Of course, RBS is still something like 81 per cent taxpayer owned, so really we should be devilishly concerned about what this bank that’s ostensibly been purchased by the British people. If you ask me that wasn’t exactly the best decision – of course we didn’t really have much of a say in the matter, despite all the lip service paid to ‘taxpayer ownership.’ Let’s be honest, the only people worse than RBS and Barclays executives at handling money are those in our Government!

Still I suppose what was the alternative? Let RBS fail and have utter carnage break out on the High Street? Well I suppose that would have been bad. Then again, we’ve just had over half a decade of long, slow carnage as these banks flail and sputter, hanging on to the lifeline thrown to them by the Government yet still begin to slip beneath the waves. Waste of time and resources if you ask me!

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