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.
RBS sets up internal bad bank as profits slump
Royal Bank of Scotland today said its quarterly profits had more than halved as it unveiled plans to set up an internal ‘bad bank’ containing £38 billion of toxic assets. The state-backed lender also said it would be shaking up its customer service and IT operations in a bid to drive down costs, with the full details of the shake-up due to be announced in February.
Cost of new regulator would ‘fall on industry’
A NEW Scottish financial regulator in the event of independence would need hundreds of staff and cost millions of pounds, the chairman of the industry’s trade body said last night. Ewan Brown, chairman of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), also told the organisation’s annual dinner in Edinburgh that the cost of an additional regulator would fall on the industry.
Minister sets out energy sector reforms
THE UK government today announced a package of energy reforms including the prospect of criminal charges for power company bosses who rig the markets. In an attempt to combat the growing public anger over rising energy prices, the Energy Secretary Ed Davey unveiled a series of measures in an attempt to hand more “control” to consumers who are paying for the rises imposed by the “Big Six” energy companies.
TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
Robertson raises funds in sale of investments
Robertson Group, which has been restructuring and retreating from housebuilding and commercial property, has netted new funds from a major sale of infrastructure investments. The Elgin-based group says the proceeds will help it to reinvest in larger infrastructure projects and continue its diversification into project management, consultancy and advisory services to the public sector.
Plan announced for Scotland to gain from HS2 rail line
A study aiming to increase the benefits to Scotland of the HS2 rail project has been announced by the UK government. The work by HS2 Ltd suggests high-speed services to Scotland and the north of England will start as soon as Phase One opens in 2026. Transport minister Baroness Kramer said the project would “bring the UK together”.
MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
STV to make quiz show as advertising gathers pace
STV has added to the growing pipeline of work in its production arm after securing the commission to make a new quiz show to be aired in Scotland and Ireland. The programme, called The Lie, comes on the heels of other recent commissions including a second series of Catchphrase for ITV and one-off documentary, Pothole Britain, for Channel 5. STV Productions has also been recognised for its work in other genres, with programmes shortlisted in the features and current affairs categories of the Scottish Bafta awards earlier this week.