Plea for 'scapegoat' finance sector

SCOTLAND'S financial services industry risks becoming a scapegoat for the new Holyrood administration's austerity programme, a City figure claims.

Chris Cummings, chief executive of TheCityUK, the financial services promotion group, said his members in Scotland have expressed fears about being demonised for a second time amid the public sector cuts.

Cummings, who was on a flying visit to Edinburgh and Glasgow, said: "The Scottish financial sector is not trying to shirk its share of the responsibility for the crisis, mistakes were made. But there is a fear of a political backlash as the impact (of the cuts] comes through.

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"The problems went beyond the industry, also involving British politicians, regulators and credit rating agencies." Cummings met with First Minister Alex Salmond and Jenny Dawe, leader of Edinburgh City Council, during his trip.