Lesson to bankers

The Scotsman (Archive, 15 
December) provided details published by the National Bank of Scotland on 15 December, 1950 covering that bank’s accounts as at 1 November of that year.

The details that you published ran only to some 150 words 
but therein it was demonstrated very completely that the 
bank had been prudent and profitable.

It had looked after its shareholders, its staff, its pensioners, staff dependants and future ­capital expenditure requirements of the bank.

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The National Bank of Scotland went on to become ultimately a part of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

While it is said that comparisons are odious it is worthwhile recalling that the most recent ­financial results for our Scottish banks show a very different picture to that which the National Bank produced in 1950.

Those results are punctuated by ­dismal shareholder return, fines by the authorities, mis-
selling of financial products, 
contentious remuneration packages and lack of sufficient 
investment in information technology.

The way our banking is ­conducted now is, of course, very different to that which pertained in 1950 but nevertheless those running our banks presently would do well to look back to the basic principles which ­governed the conduct of our banks at that time.

Graham Mathewson

Randolph Road