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RBS faces probe over claims it drove firms to collapse
ALLEGATIONS that Royal Bank of Scotland forced businesses into financial difficulty for its own gain “could be the finish” for public trust in the scandal-hit lender, an MSP warned last night. Business Secretary Vince Cable has passed allegations against RBS compiled by one of his advisers to City watchdogs. The dossier accuses the Edinburgh- based company of “unscrupulous” practices, having levied “exorbitant” fees and charges upon firms, only to “profit from their distress”.
Firms may hire 200,000 if Chancellor eases jobs taxes
COMPANIES could create more than 200,000 jobs over the next 12 months if the Chancellor uses next month’s autumn statement to cut jobs taxes, according to a report published today. Confidence among small businesses and mid-caps has “skyrocketed” over the past three months, and firms are now demanding changes to their employers’ national insurance contributions (NIC) to further boost economic growth.
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Launch of Arran Brewery’s £4m fundraising
ARRAN Brewery managing director Gerald Michaluk will today formally launch his plans to raise up to £4 million through crowdfunding to upgrade his current site and open two further breweries on the mainland. Michaluk plans to issue up to 50,000 new “B” shares in his company, representing 4.76 per cent of its share capital and valuing the business at about £80m
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Strathberry secures its first contract in China
STRATHBERRY of Scotland is planning on further growth after securing its first contract in China and sealing an agreement closer to home to be stocked in Harvey Nichols. The luxury accessories brand, which has its headquarters and retail premises in Edinburgh, will see a range of its products going into the Beijing and Shanghai stores of a retail chain called Estate.
TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
Builder hits out after his retail plan is blocked
A businessman has accused Midlothian Council of failing to grasp a vital employment opportunity after it blocked his plans for a country-style retail development. George Russell, who has run housebuilder Russell Construction since setting it up in 1976, won planning permission to develop a coffee shop and four holiday cottages on his Soutra Mains Farm in 2011.
Bond firm in talks of £1.5bn takeover
The firm behind Bond Helicopters could be taken over in a £1.5billion deal, it has emerged. Engineering services giant Babcock International is in talks over a tie-up with Avincis, the firm which owns the Bond Aviation Group. Babcock, which is involved in the construction of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers, confirmed discussions to form a “joint venture” with Avincis.