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Cable calls for RBS to be broken up

Business secretary Vince Cable has called for Royal Bank of Scotland to be split up to form a new ‘British business bank’.

In a letter to prime minister David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg that was leaked to the BBC, Cable says the government should recognise that RBS will not return to the market in its current form.

He wrote: “My suggestion is that we recognise that RBS will not return to the market in its current shape and use its time as ward of state to carve out of it a British business bank with a clean balance sheet and a mandate to expand lending rapidly to sound businesses.

“We should be willing to use such an institution to support our other industrial objectives, such as supporting exports and sectors identified as of strategic importance. But this will take time and in the meantime we have to get the state banks lending to businesses, especially SMEs.”

RBS is 82% owned by the government and last month reported a loss of £2bn for 2011.


Week in numbers

6 – The number of residential mortgage products Skipton Building Society is offering via brokers after relaunching a slimmed-down version of its range. 2.8 – The number of weeks the average rental property stood empty in 2011, down from 3.2 weeks in 2010, says Paragon Mortgages. £2bn – The amount of its government loan that […]

Gross lending by Coventry rose 14% to hit £4bn in 2010

Coventry Building Society boosted its gross mortgage lending by 14% to £4bn in 2011. This compares with lending of £3.5bn in 2010 and equates to a 17% market share of all mutual lending. The society’s net lending was £1.7bn for 2011, up slightly from £1.6bn in 2010. Its underlying profit before tax was £84.6m, 12% […]

The Mortgage Mole

Pushing the envelope At the 2012 Mortgage Strategy Awards last week the great and the good of the industry were out in their glad rags to celebrate the mortgage industry’s Oscars.

Lenders go to HMRC to check 269 suspect cases

Lenders have verified the income details of 269 mortgage applicants they suspect of committing fraud using HM Revenue & Custom’s mortgage verification scheme. The scheme, which launched in September, is designed to combat mortgage fraud by allowing lenders to verify the income details declared by mortgage applicants with those registered with HMRC for a £14 […]

Artemis Investments’ Outlook for 2016

Political change and the ‘normalisation’ of interest rates mean 2016 is likely to be another interesting year. But what will it bring for equities – and bonds? Here, a number of Artemis’ managers share their views. Click here to read the full article


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