9am Briefing: City watchdog slams management and regulation after RBS crash

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POOR management decisions and a light-touch regulatory regime were today blamed for the near-collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland in a long-awaited report from the City watchdog.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) highlighted deficiencies in the management, governance and culture at RBS and said the deal which effectively broke the bank - the £50 billion takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro - was carried out with inadequate due diligence.

The FSA said RBS proceeded without appropriate heed to the risks involved and with information which amounted to “two lever-arch folders and a CD”.

The report said a key factor in the bank’s demise was the management, led by chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin.

* POLICE are appealing for information to help trace the next of kin for a man who died at the weekend.

Alexander Kennedy passed away at his home in Buchanan Street on Saturday.

There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the 84-year-old’s death and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Mr Kennedy was the youngest of 11 siblings and it is believed his nieces or nephews may still be alive.

Anyone who can assist in identifying his relatives is asked to contact police immediately.

* A SEA of Santas and elves flooded into Princes Street Gardens to take part in the Great Edinburgh Santa Run.

Almost 1500 fundraisers donned festive costumes to take part in yesterday’s 2km race in aid of children’s charity, When You Wish Upon a Star, which aims to grant the wishes of kids throughout Scotland suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Fundraisers of all ages walked and toddled around this year’s adapted circuit, which included part of the newly pedestrianised Princes Street.

* VICTIMS of juvenile hate crimes will be given the chance to meet their offenders as part of a trailblazing police scheme being launched in the Capital.

The innovative project – a first for Scotland – revolves around the principle of Restorative Justice Meetings where the victim can come face to face with the perpetrators of hate crimes in a “safe, structured and neutral environment”.

Backed by celebrity chef Tony Singh, the controlled meetings will be offered to victims of hate crimes committed by young people in Edinburgh and West Lothian with plans being considered for an adult equivalent across the Lothians.

* EDINBURGH’S plans for a tourist tax have been thrown into doubt after the Scottish Government said it had no plans to change the law to allow the scheme.

The city council would almost certainly need permission from the government to introduce the new tax on hotels to help pay for marketing of the city and contribute to the cost of the festivals.

But the government said tourism businesses already paid high taxes. A spokeswoman said: “We have yet to see proposals from Edinburgh City Council, but there are no current plans to introduce legislation to allow local authorities to levy a tourism tax.”