Monday newspaper round-up: Barclays, RBS, Fuel poverty...

barclays87

Barclays executive 'suppressed' damaging report; RBS to be hit with hefty Libor fines; Britain heading for fuel poverty crisis.

Barclays was hit by further damaging revelations about the culture that was allowed to flourish in certain parts of the bank yesterday after it emerged that a senior executive had suppressed a damaging report into Barclays Wealth in America. The report, compiled by consultancy firm Genesis Ventures, was said by a Sunday newspaper to have sharply criticised a "revenue at all costs" strategy and a "culture that is high-risk and actively hostile to compliance". Management was said to have "ruled with an iron fist", acting to remove "any intervention from those who speak up in opposition". Genesis Ventures' report was initially only supplied to Andrew Tinney, chief operating officer of the private investment division, and he suppressed it. His departure was announced to staff in an email a week ago, and it is understood he did not receive a pay-off. [The Independent]

It sounds like such fun. A Royal Bank of Scotland trader quips "hahaha" in a series of jovial electronic exchanges as he goes about his work. But it will soon become clear that however much fun the trader felt he was having, the repercussions for the bailed-out bank will be anything but when it is hit with a staggering £500m or so in fines for manipulating Libor. Ever since Barclays was fined £290m in June for rigging the benchmark interest rate, Stephen Hester, the RBS chief executive, has been softening the ground for the bailed-out bank to suffer a similar - or worse - humiliation by regulators on both sides on Atlantic. [The Guardian]

More than 100 energy companies, charities and businesses have joined forces to warn David Cameron that Britain is heading for a fuel poverty crisis owing to a failure of government policy. In a letter to the Prime Minister, seen by The Times, they argue that ministers are not doing enough to tackle soaring gas and electricity bills that leave a growing number of people unable to heat their homes. An unprecedented alliance, including Npower, the Co-operative, Age UK and Barnardo's, urges Mr Cameron to use money raised from the "carbon tax" to be levied from April to tackle the "national disgrace" of cold homes. A programme to fit houses with proper insulation would, they say, protect the vulnerable, help the environment and boost the economy. [The Times]

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