Who is RBS? Royal BS... or the Royal Bank of Scotland

Reggie Middleton's picture

Scotland is making a move for independence from the UK as a sovereign nation. Such an event is bound to be rife with political motivations and ramifications that I'm no where near qualified to gauge or judge. Yet, there is one thing that I can comment on with conviction, and that is the risks that abound in the banking system. You see, with so many political motivations running in several directions, the truth (or even a facsimile of it) will be hard to come by in such a situation, but I believe I can ferret out a nugget or two. Here are a few snippets from an article ran on CNBC.com today: Scotland Independence Could Lead to Cyprus-Style Banking Crisis

An independent Scotland is at risk of a Cyprus-style banking crisis, as its banking sector would be "exceptionally large" compared to the size of its economy, a U.K. government report has said.

"An independent Scotland would have an exceptionally large banking sector compared to the size of its economy - with banking assets of more than 1250 percent of Scottish [gross domestic product] - making it more vulnerable to financial shocks and the volatility of the sector," the Treasury report said on Monday.

The report pointed out Scotland's banking exposure would dwarf that of Iceland and Cyprus, two countries that faced severe banking collapses in recent years. Iceland's banks, for example, had assets equivalent to 880 per cent of GDP, while Cyprus, which faced a banking crisis in March, had total banking assets of around 700 per cent of GDP.

...for Scotland if its banks needed bailing out, posing significant risks to Scottish taxpayers, the report claimed.

The report as cited by the article then goes on to make more direct comparisons to Cyprus, not unlike I did two months ago, but with Ireland (see As Forewarned, The Irish Savers Have Just Been "Cyprus'd", And There's MUCH MORE "Cyprusing" To Come). 

"At the end of September 2012, the two largest banks – the Cyprus Popular Bank and Bank of Cyprus – had assets in the region of 210 per cent and 175 per cent of Cyprus's GDP respectively."

"It is worth noting that, if Scotland became independent, its banking sector would be similarly concentrated (with two large players, Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland and a number of smaller firms), and that an independent Scotland's domestic banking sector would be likely to be significantly larger than that of Cyprus (assuming no change to firms' domicile arrangements)."

While there's not a single doubt in my mind that this so-called research paper has distinct political ulterior motives at it heart, a fact is still a fact nonetheless. RBS is still a problem in terms of systemic risk. On Thursday, 11 April 2013 I penned, I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets! wherein I clearly illustrated that RBS is materially understating its liabilities AND even went so far as to include links to the SEC and the UK banking regulator so that US/UK taxpayers and investors can notify our erstwhile regulator(s) to the potential of financial shenanigans. The root of the problem is that RBS has materially under-reported its liabilities (in my oh so humble opinion.) Those that stress tested RBS (the same erstwhile professionals that allowed the Irish banks to pass their stress tests 3 months before they started collapsing) apparently overlooked humongous swaths of liabilities. The charge documents referred to in the aforelinked article are definitively not apparent in the recent bank stress testing’ conducted by the European Banking Authority, at least not in the summary results that the EBA have made available. For those who are still skeptical, I beg thee reference the RBS Stress Test download. I presented ample evidence directly in my previous articles, to wit:

What happened behind closed doors?

Ulster Bank gave a first floating charge in favor of the Central Bank of Ireland (an arm of the European Central Bank) and the Financial Services Authority of Ireland. U.S. investors would have had to rely on the contents of The Royal Bank of Scotland's 2008 Annual Accounts which apparently (in my opinion) concealed the existence of the CRO registered charges to the Central Bank of Ireland.

Ulster Bank RBS charge doc 2 Page 1Ulster Bank RBS charge doc 2 Page 1

I even included a lawsuit filed in which investors apparently go the message, they just didn't have access to the analyst that I proffered...

rbs litigationrbs litigation

Anyone interested in RBS will be well served to review "I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets!" thoroughly! 

To give the prospective Scottish taxpayer a clue as to what surprises may lurk beneath, I post this tidbit from the afore-linked article...

The app below allows the UK Taxpayer to calculate for themselves exactly what their individual contribution (pro rata) is to the government bailout of RBS.

I've taken the liberty of pre-populating the input fields for you, but if you don't agree with the numbers then by all means insert your own!

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WTFUD's picture

All is chosen and Absolute reo
You twa are full o' shit and ig you dinnie quit passin' on Goldie Sachs & Banksters BS i will honor ye with a double glasgow handshake ( headbutt ). now bugger aff and lave us tae commence with the hangings.

WTFUD's picture

So RBS is a Scottish Bank and the Scots will be responsible for it's liabilities? Nah!

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Independentance with free banking operations inside your jurisdiction is a sick joke played on both Drunken Gaels and Greedy Picts.

BeetleBailey's picture

Just got a robo-call from a fuckin bank, asking me to lower my CC interest rate to "take advantage of the stimulus"...cunts...so I hung on the line until a droid/cunt answered....then told her to fuck off....

Freedumb's picture

By the time we're all through getting Cyprused, Corzined, Madoffed and Bernanked it's Baumgartnering straight down to hell for all of us.

NEOSERF's picture

Royal haggis bitchez!

Vegetius's picture


 The Emperor's New Clothes

  Starring Every Bank in Europe

And playing the little boy who says “you guys are bare ass naked” its Reggie Middleton (in a role he seems to have made his own).


A new Exciting Movie  from Eurotrash Films the people who brought you

“Cyprus” the horror movie of 2013  and "Bunga Bunga rides again" the hit political movie of 2012/13

and who can forget the great “PIIGS Can Fly” a comedy that never seems to end.



IamtheREALmario's picture

As people are slowly starting to realize, the real war going on around the world is a result of the banking empire in a mad dash to sujugate everyone else. No rules apply to them and they try to create the rules for everyone else, first through extortion, then by bribery and if that fails through force via one of its captive proxies.

Hopefully an alternative will arise whereby everyone can just stop playing the banking game and stop kowtowing to pasty faced self absorbed assholes.

css1971's picture

Reggie's right.

Bankers traditionally have been Jews and Scots. The Bank of England for example, was started by a Scot. The Edinburgh banking sector make up a truly enormous percentage of the Scottish economy, they make up an outsized percentage of the UK banking sector; about 20% vs 5% of the UK population.

On the bright side for the Scots, the RBS et al are on life support on the UK national debt rather than a Scottish one. Consider that pay back for all the free oil.

Further, on independence. Totally irrelevant... A red herring.  Europe has shown perfectly that if you don't own your own currency then you are a servile, not sovereign, nation. Whether it's the GBP or the EUR is irrelevant, Scotland would still be owned by the bankers and the question of a currency isn't even going to come up.

css1971's picture

Oh forgot to mention.

If you think about the size of the UK banking sector in the world, it's huge. Enormous, fully 1/3 of the UK GDP. And with the proportion of that taken by the Scottish banks, Scotland is probably the most over banked "country" on the planet.

It gets even better than this BTW. The banks... They're all allowed to issue their own bank notes. Yes, really.

Clydesdale bank £10 note... Yes they have 2 different sets of notes in circulation:



The Bank of Scotland £10 note:


And the Royal Bank of Scotland (which is not the Bank of Scotland):


It's always quite amusing going from Scotland to England with Scottish notes, the looks of consternation on the English faces. Is it real money or monopoly money? It makes it easier to understand that money is just whatever people will accept. Link is money, Visa is money, Mastercard is money, Scottish notes are money (most of the time), American Express is not money (most of the time),. Gold and Silver are not money.



Zero Govt's picture

to be fair any profits from Scottish oil to England are now more than balanced by Scottish banker gambling bum losses

pretty typical throughout history where industry creates wealth and bwankers piss it all away in half the time

FishHockers's picture

Does this have anything to do with scot toilet paper? I like Charmin.

auric1234's picture

I think RBS stands for Royal BS. And everybody knows what BS stands for.


All is chosen's picture

The perpetually whinging Scots only wish to devolve their (few) assets, while leaving their massive debts behind them.

The remaining 90% of the UK population have yet to be thanked for bailing out Scotland 300 years ago, so we are not holding out for any sudden realisation. 

If those that pay for Scotland were allowed to vote on its future, independence would be guaranteed.

That is not going to happen - the scots will vote against - the complaining will continue - along with the $30 odd billion net annual drain that a mere ten million folk have on the UK economy.


css1971's picture

5 million. There are more sheep in Scotland than humans.

Zero Govt's picture

the Scots are being given a political 'choice' (cough) between frying pan and fire... stay British pariament (what a tragic history that's got) or go EU (another human shithole)

what the Scots are not being given is a real cjoice, the 3rd option that works best, Zero Govt ...freedom from the parasitical, thieving scum of all parliaments

pitty the Scots, their democratic parties are a sick choice between left (hardened marxists) and the 'right' wing (soft stupid socialists) called The Tory Party'... nobody votes nowadays, the criminals of Govt have to cook the books, as Govt does everything, to fake a turnout

the criminal fraud that is 'democracy' continues, 2,000 years of total failure and counting

piceridu's picture

Wouldn't it be nice to clone RM and unleash him into the Matrix as a virus? 

Zero Govt's picture

Reg lives a Jackyl & Hyde double life, one part Sword of Fiery Truth on the banksters and in dark of night metamorphs into Sword of Absolute Bollocks on his anti-Apple/pro-Google agenda

that's to be expected from a 'man of maths' and 'logic' and the accountancy profession itself, renowned throughout time for being paid crones and benders of the truth (look at the internartional accountancy practices wonderous cooking of the books for the entire Western worlds banking sector, not a word of truth in their balance sheets since pre-2007)

Reg joins them in backing the Goofball nag but not being able to do the maths, logic or find the truth in that Apple is more profitable than Goofy, Microshite, Dell and the entire PC industry combined

another accountant scewered, roasted at the spit and turned completely inside out by reality ...ho hum!

Toolshed's picture

LOL!!! You crapple fanboys crack me up. Well done!

DOT's picture

Don't worry the taxpayers will get off Scot Free.

Winston Smith 2009's picture


"Given the reputation of Scotsmen as being careful with their money we might look to Scotland for the origin of 'scot free'. Wrong again, but at least we are in the right part of the world now. 'Skat' is a Scandinavian word for tax or payment and the word migrated to Britain and mutated into 'scot' as the name of a redistributive taxation, levied as early the 10th century as a form of municipal poor relief.

'Scot' as a term for tax has been used since then in various forms - Church scot, Rome scot, Soul scot and so on. Whatever the tax, the phrase 'getting off scot free' simply refers to not paying one's taxes.

No one likes paying tax and people have been getting off scot free since at least the 11th century. The first reference in print to 'scot free' is in the Writ of Edward the Confessor."

Zero Govt's picture

you mean the bwankers will get off Scot Free

gambling away your own money and getting into debt is stupid... pissing away other peoples money while enjoying the Champagne Charlie lifestyle, golden handshakes and goodbyes, Gold plated pensions and mega-bonuses for your work is qute another

but no worries, neither the British FSA, European Regulator nor SEC has seen anything untoward in this entire disgusting saga at the core of societies financial sector ...nor the Central Bwankers... nor the Govt that oversees the lot ..nothing wrong here!!!

The worst financial mess in human history whitewashed by the criminal racket that is Govt who by sheer coincidence is in tghe same bad debt (bed) with the banksters and are equally up Shit Ceek without a paddle ...well the parasites have one outlet, putting the productive (private sector) taxpayer on the hook for their squander and greed

BigJim's picture

In what way is RBS a 'Scottish' bank anymore? I mean, besides the name?

Why would the Scots be on the hook for its bail-in, any more, than (say) the Queen?

All is chosen's picture

Good idea! Move the rent-seeking german 'royals' up there permanently.


You are right though BigJim. 



& yes I had doubled my fellow countrymen's numbers earlier. There are a mere 5 million of us, thoroughly over represented.

absente reo's picture

Is Jim Scawwwwtish by any chance?


RBS was lauded as best of Scawwwwwtland by Wee Eck (Alex Super Salmond to the ininitiated) in the boom years, until the shit hit the fan, and the UK treasury (really, the UK taxpayer, which means really, the English taxpayer, which means really, London and southern England taxpayers) picked up the tab.

Now, it's no longer a Scawwwwtish bank, according to Wee Eck.

BigJim's picture

Aye, but no, Ahm no Scawwwtish... or even Scottish.

Methinks RBS is a multinational corp, 'tis all.

I'm sure Salmond would take credit for a large steaming dogturd if he thought it would win him votes... and disown it just as quickly the moment it started getting cold.

That doesn't make RBS 'Scottish', though.

absente reo's picture

RBS's registered office is in Edinburgh, so, legally, it's a Scawtish bank.

Pesto put out a piece on RBS today.




"in a nominal sense, Scottish banking assets are equivalent to 1,250% of Scottish GDP"


But re the turd, yes, I think you're right.