RBS set to become Royal Bank of Scotland again

LONDON (Reuters): RBS are set to become Royal Bank of Scotland again – but only north of the Border as they sell off branches in England and Wales. More than 300 branches are to be sold as the banking giants ditch the RBS brand they believe is too toxic to save. The move means the initials will vanish entirely as more than 200 RBS branches are returned to their original name. The bank said yesterday: “The NatWest branches in Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland branches in England and Wales are being divested through a trade sale.” They are now set to be branded by whichever bank buys them. As part of the restructuring, RBS axed 1350 jobs from its workforce of 12,000 across the UK in mid-March and May. RBS are still 72 per cent owned by the taxpayer after the 2008 financial crash which saw disgraced chief executive Fred Goodwin stripped of his knighthood. Chief executive Ross McEwan has said the bank no longer wish to be a global brand and plan to focus on rebuilding their reputation at a local level.

RBS said the decision will have no impact on the group’s HQ at Gogarburn in Edinburgh.

McEwan said: “As the bank itself became a global brand, RBS became the global brand.

 

B’desh withholding $105m heist probe info

DHAKA (Reuters): Bangladesh Bank lawyer Ajmalul Hossain was responding to comments by Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) in the Philippines — through which the stolen money was routed before disappearing into Manila's casino industry — that the central bank in Dhaka was wary of releasing reports that could implicate its own officials. More than six months have passed since hackers broke into the Bangladesh central bank's computer systems in one of the biggest-ever cyber heists. Most of the $US81 million stolen is still missing and the culprits have not been identified, but Bangladesh Bank has held RCBC accountable for the loss. It has said it may sue RCBC if other efforts to recover the money are unsuccessful. "Bangladesh Bank knows enough about what happened from the internal and external reports so far obtained by it and others," the central bank's lawyer Mr Hossain said.    "This truth is being deliberately withheld from the public domain so as not to allow the foreign perpetrators of the hacking to have knowledge of the investigations."

RCBC has questioned Bangladesh Bank's June decision not to extend a contract with US cyber security firm FireEye to investigate the February theft, saying the recovery of the money could be "imperilled" if someone within the central bank was found responsible for the heist.

The initial FireEye report submitted to Bangladesh Bank in March and seen by Reuters had blamed a sophisticated third party for the attack and had identified around 35 "compromised" Bangladesh Bank assets.

As many as six types of malware were used to infect Bangladesh Bank computer systems.

A Bangladesh Government-appointed panel said in May that Bangladesh Bank officials may have been involved in the brazen theft, but its report has also yet to be released.

 

UK could remain in EU till late 2019

London (Online): The United Kingdom could remain in the European Union until late 2019 as civil servants are struggling with Brexit, and elections in France and Germany may hold up the start of exit negotiations, ministers have privately warned. Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to enact Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which would start a two-year countdown to leaving the bloc. However, she might have to postpone it because her new Brexit and international trade departments are not ready, according to The Sunday Times. “Ministers are now thinking the [Article 50] trigger could be delayed to autumn 2017,” said one City source who had talked to two senior ministers on the issue. “They don’t have the infrastructure for the people they need to hire. They say they don’t even know the right questions to ask when they finally begin bargaining with Europe.” “You can’t negotiate when you don’t know who you’re negotiating with,” added the source.

 

UBG lauds govt’s economic direction

 

ISLAMABAD (NNI): The United Business Group (UBG) of FPCCI on Sunday lauded economic direction of the government, terming it beneficial for the whole population. In a statement issued here, Secretary General of UBG Zubair Tufail said, “Provision of additional energy to the export-oriented textile industry will help the country reap benefits of the recently awarded GSP plus status.” He referred to IMF’s recent statement in which it had acknowledged Pakistan economy’s recovery, saying it was well on track and was able to absorb minor shocks, which supported the economic direction of the government. He said that decision to provide gas to industry in Punjab would save jobs, provide employment to many and help Pakistan improve the forex reserves through exports. Tufail also said that youth should be given more opportunities to boost economic activity as they were fully capable of giving encouraging results. He further said that circular debt was a big threat to economy and investment; therefore it should be eliminated forever.