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Scottish Business Briefing - Thursday October 31

Robin Budenberg denied UKFI was politically controlled. Picture: PA

Robin Budenberg denied UKFI was politically controlled. Picture: PA

WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.

FINANCE

RBS: Large review attacks small firms lending

Royal Bank of Scotland is facing fresh criticism as former Bank of England deputy governor Sir Andrew Large prepares to deliver a damning report on its lending to small firms. His review is likely to recommend the state-backed bank offers a wider range of products to business customers and may be published alongside third-quarter figures tomorrow.

Scotsman

Clydesdale Bank completes turnaround ahead of schedule

Clydesdale Bank has completed its turnaround plan ahead of schedule, according to its parent company in Melbourne. Including its Yorkshire Bank subsidiary, the 18-month programme has involved a cut of 1,400 staff. The Glasgow-based lender reported a pre-tax profit of £127m in the year to September, contrasting with a loss of £183m in the previous year. BBC

Read all today’s finance news from scotsman.com

ECONOMY

Debt-fuelled spree won’t help economy experts warn

SCOTLAND’s recovery from recession has been built on debt-fuelled spending by families and cannot be sustained without a boom in exports and investment, the country’s leading independent economic body has warned. In its quarterly analysis, the Fraser of Allander Institute at Strathclyde University said the emergence of the country’s economy from the doldrums had only come about because already indebted households had decided to start spending again.

Scotsman

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

Scotsman Conferences

The Digital Fabric of Scotland: The Challenge of stitching it together - 29th January - Edinburgh

Join us and the Scottish Council on Archives as we bring the first event of its kind to Scotland. Expert speakers drawn from business, academia, industry and government will aim to raise awareness of digital records among key decision makers across different sectors, help build a Scottish digital records community to collaborate on finding the best technological solutions and securing investment and examine the options for ensuring long term access to valuable digital resources. Visit the Scotsman Conferences website for more details. (The Scotsman Conferences)

ENERGY

Oil and gas leaders take on industry’s skills gap

Major research into the skills landscape of North Sea oil and gas could be a real game-changer for the industry. Led by oil and gas industry training body Opito, a pioneering new study aims to identify the extent of the current skills gap in the sector. It is hoped that findings from the research, which is backed by various bodies including the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Oil & Gas UK and Subsea UK, will provide a foundation for the first ever national oil and gas sector skills strategy. P&J

North Sea skills will drive shale gas ‘revolution’

Scotland is at the forefront of a “new energy revolution” according to the head of engineering giant Weir Group, who said skills learnt in the North Sea could help drive the development of shale gas. Keith Cochrane said the UK’s reserves of unconventional oil and gas have the potential to boost the country’s tax revenues and energy security, and insisted that the industry is “environmentally respectful”. Scotsman

Read all today’s energy news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Builder’s sales race ahead after athletes’ village work

Builder Mactaggart & Mickel enjoyed a 78 per cent jump in profits last year as confidence gradually returned to the Scottish housing market. However, the Glasgow-based group’s £2.4 million haul is still a long way short of the £18m it made in the last year before the financial crisis. The company has diversified since then, and its contracts division was one of the main drivers of growth in the 12 months to 30 April thanks to its role in building the Glasgow 2014 athletes’ village. Scotsman

Read all today’s transport and industry news from scotsman.com

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