From The Observer:
RBS faces probe over ‘threats’ to directors
Peer’s criminal inquiry warning on bank
Toby Helm and Jamie Doward
The Observer, Sunday 22 March 2009
The scandal engulfing the Royal Bank of Scotland reaches new heights today with serious allegations from a senior Labour politician that at least three of its former non-executive directors may have been intimidated and threatened with the sack for asking searching questions about its financial affairs.
The Observer can reveal that a former government minister, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, who has been extensively briefed by former bank insiders, has written to the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, asking it to pursue the claims which, if true, could trigger a criminal investigation.
The intervention by Foulkes, who is also a member of the Scottish parliament and sits on the Commons security and intelligence committee, comes amid fears that the bank will be exposed as the UK’s equivalent of Enron–the US trader that collapsed amid systemic fraud.
Last night Foulkes said there was “widespread public anger among the public and Parliament that bankers in the midst of this financial crisis appear to be profiting and no action is being taken in relation to action which could constitute criminal offences”.
In relation to claims of intimidation, Foulkes said: “If it were to transpire that executives were pressured in such a way, then that is a most serious matter indeed that needs urgent action.”
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