SO IT GOES ON ....
Because of the problems in the US, Scotlands biggest buildng society, the Dunfermline (profit last year £2Mn) is ready to unveil losses of £28 Mn +.
The mutual, now 130 years old, with some 240 staff and 34 branches and 38 agencies throughout Scotland, has bad exposure to the crumbling commercial property market and the results of a recent push into buy-to-let loans in recent years - all the fault of the US and not imprudent Scottish bankers.
The Dunfermline is said to have been one of the last in the market to pull out of the 100% plus loans market, while it also had a considerable (and fatal) exposure to buy-to-let loans and lending to commercial property borrowers.
Partners for a merger have been sounded out and Yorkshire Building Society former employer of Jim Willens, the Dunfermline's new CEO is considered a good fit, by those few bankers who understand a good fit when they see one.
Graeme Dalziel the former CEO made a "surprise departure" in December after a 20% workforce cost saving cut in September. He joined as Finance Director in 1998 and became Chief Executive in 2001. he was / is a member of Council of CBI Scotland, the Council of the Building Societies Association and Cooperative Scotland Advisory Board. He is a past member of the Executive Committee of Scottish Council Development and Industry and a past Chairman of the Northern Association of Building Societies.
Graeme Hardie joined as IT Director with previous experience including group IT director at BSkyB, systems manager for Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, and was a senior management consultant at Price Waterhouse.
In 2006, as these problems were brewing , Peter Craigie was voted Finance Diector of the Year by the Bank of Scotland.
A tight lipped , ashen, spokeswoman asked if the Dunfermline stood by a pledge by Mr Dalziel six months ago that the Dunfermline would remain "an independent mutual building society", she replied: "Graeme is no longer here. That was his statement back then, not now. We are committed to remaining a mutual."
Those damned Americans , destroying the savings of prudent Scottish savers.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
SO IT GOES ON ....