Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Days of RBS Sponsorship of Golf Over?

According to The Telegraph Government sources said they would make it clear to Stephen Hester, who will replace Sir Fred Goodwin as chief executive of RBS, that the bank will have to stop activities associated with its days building a global banking empire.
RBS attracted criticism a few years ago when it emerged that the bank leased a luxury jet which was based in Paris and used by Sir Fred. The bank justified the jet on the grounds that its chief executive used the French-made Falcon 900 EX to travel to the sprawling parts of RBS, which include China and the US.

The jet will be among the first assets to be let go, sources said. They added that the Government had already questioned why RBS sponsors Formula 1. This has particularly come into the spotlight as the final round this year is in Brazil, where RBS has a very limited presence.
Government insiders also believe that RBS does not need to sponsor the British and American golf Opens. RBS may also have to end its relationship with its golf "ambassador", Jack Nicklaus.
There is a view that its sponsorship of the Six Nations rugby tournament makes sense, as it involves countries where RBS is very active.

Mr Hester insisted on Monday that the Government would not interfere with RBS's commercial decisions. But sources close to the Government pointed out that the Treasury has the right to have input on the appointment of three new non-executive directors and that those individuals will be expected to ensure the Government's interests are looked after and that the bank is not run in a way which will embarrass ministers.

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