Weekend Digest


SEEN OR HEARD:Leading investors are backing Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) chief executive Stephen Hester to take the helm at the disgraced Barclays Bank, according to Britain’s Sunday Telegraph.

The paper reported yesterday that “one top-10 shareholder” described Mr Hester as an ideal candidate, as he had proved himself at the bailed out RBS, where he succeeded Fred “the Shred” Goodwin.

Barclays landed in hot water recently when it admitted to several attempts to rig the benchmark Libor interest rate.

The same paper carries an interview with Barclays’ new chairman, Sir David Walker, who is pledging to change the bank and undertake a wholesale review of how it operates.


Quinn Insurance administrators Michael McAteer and Paul McCann are trawling back through “several years” of claims to establish if there is a case against the underwriter’s auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, according to the Sunday Times.

The paper said the pair were trying to assess whether Quinn Insurance was massively under-provisioned for future claims. The process could take six to 12 months.

If a case were to go ahead, it would be the largest compensation claim in the State’s history.

A separate report in the same paper said the €1.65 billion claim against the Insurance Compensation Fund, which will mean penalties on every policy issued in the State, could be reduced by €92 million if the insurer’s Irish business, now owned by Mutual, hits its profit target.


US investment company Franklin Templeton has taken a big punt on Government debt, and is one of the biggest holders of bonds issued by the Republic, the Sunday Business Post reported.

Franklin Templeton’s figures for the end of June shows that it held €3.3 billion worth of the Republic’s sovereign debt at that point.

The paper adds that it was one of the biggest single purchasers of bonds when the State returned to the markets last month, buying up to €1.5 billion of the €4 billion or so worth of bonds sold by the National Treasury Management Agency.