As an ordinary RBS customer for several decades I was somewhat puzzled by Peter Jones’s claim (Perspective, 9 July), in his latest defence of the Union, that RBS’s takeover of the NatWest bank “worked extremely well”.
I have to ask: from whose point of view did it work well?
While I have no doubt that some of RBS’s top personnel – including of course its then chief executive Sir George Mathewson and his ill-fated successor, Fred Goodwin, did very well out of this move with enhanced bonuses and share options etc, I am at a loss to comprehend how their increased wealth trickled down to ordinary Scottish customers like me who are now suffering from significantly reduced interest rates on our retirement savings.
After all, in acquiring the assets of the National Westminster bank – the vast majority of whose branches are located south of the Border – RBS also became responsible, especially in the aftermath of the 2008 banking crash, for its associated liabilities.
In this context it is absurd for Mr Jones to pretend that an independent Scotland would have been solely responsible for meeting the cost of the consequential bailout of RBS, not least in view of the fact that the bank’s high-risk investment operations were already being “master-minded” from within the confines of the city of London’s financial sector.
IAN O BAYNE