New outposts for Scottish Development International are to be announced shortly – but insider can tell you where, the banks facing the results ‘music’ this week, KPMG in Carillion spotlight, ‘dark ages’ interviewing of women
Insider reveals the six countries where Scotland is setting up shop
Their setting up was a pledge by Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP Conference in November 2016.
It was in the wake of the shock Brexit vote – and the First Minister could not be clearer.
She planned to “more than double the number of Scottish Development International staff working across Europe.
However more than one year on and only one new trade official had been put in post on the Continent.
That is now all about to change. The SDI is set to have offices in six new countries, directly funded by the Scottish Government.
And insider.co.uk can reveal where they are going to be.
RBS, Lloyds and Barclays to post results in big week for banks
It’s another key week in the world of the banks – namely RBS, Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays.
All are reporting this week, from Wednesday onwards in fact, and all to greater and lesser degrees don’t have their problems to seek.
RBS’s results will hinge on whether the lender is hit by a pending settlement with the US Department of Justice over its mortgage mis-selling scandal.
Then there’s the ongoing sore of GRG, its now defunct controversial restructuring arm and the row over the publishing of the FCA’s much-leaked report into it.
Finally it could also take an impairment charge on the back of construction giant Carillion’s collapse.
Carillon could also return to haunt Lloyds – which already quietly took a provision in its third quarter for the then ailing construction giant, but could take another hit now it’s gone bust.
It is also in the process of paying victims of fraud at the hands of HBOS Reading staff between 2003 and 2007
Looking to Barclays, the SFO has charged the bank with unlawful financial assistance in connection with a $3 billion (£2.2 billion) loan given to the state of Qatar.
It should be an interesting week.
KPMG to come under the Carillion inquiry microscope
Talking of Carillion, more revelations are set to emerge this week undoubtedly when representatives of the bust firm’s auditors KPMG come to Parliament to appear at the inquiry into Carillon’s demise.
And already the signals are they will be in for a tough day.
Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, says questioning could centre around why they signed off Carillion’s accounts when investors were “fleeing for the hills” because they could see the company’s problems.
Should be an illuminating exchange on Thursday.
Equality and Human Rights Commission slams ‘dark ages’ quizzing of women in job interviews
The end of last week wasn’t a great one for the gender pay gap. So it’s no surprise that a Equality and Human Rights Commission report has discovered employers have an “antiquated” view of how they can question prospective female employees in job interviews.
It’s led the head of the EHRC to describe their attitudes to young women in particular like they are “from the dark ages”.
Here’s what many of those surveyed thought they could or should be able to ask – when a ‘better understanding of the basics of discrimination law’ was needed.
The Baftas saw the film about a mother seeking justice for her murdered daughter – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – win big.
It also saw Gary Oldman triumph for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour and the guests (almost) unite in wearing black in support of the Time’s Up and Me Too campaigns.