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The ends and means of banking: the Royal Bank of Scotland after the 2008 crisis

Frame, Iain (2023) The ends and means of banking: the Royal Bank of Scotland after the 2008 crisis. Journal of Corporate Law Studies, 22 (2). pp. 931-970. ISSN 1473-5970. (doi:10.1080/14735970.2023.2206212) (KAR id:101559)


The distress wreaked on small businesses by the Royal Bank of Scotland’s turnaround division, the Global Restructuring Group, is one of the most egregious examples of bank misconduct in recent decades. Such misconduct invites reflection on the role of commercial banks in the creation and use of money. To what ends and by what means do commercial banks perform this role? This article considers ends in the sense of whose interests banks ought to serve; and it considers means in the sense of the allocation of decision-making authority. It then turns to the drama of RBS after 2008 to document how allocations of decision-making authority by corporate law and secured transactions law benefited short-term financial interests to the detriment of RBS’s small business customers. It concludes by suggesting an alternative distribution of decision-making authority to counteract such short-term financial interests.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14735970.2023.2206212
Uncontrolled keywords: Money; banking; corporate law; secured transactions law; Royal Bank of Scotland
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Iain Frame
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2023 13:54 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 08:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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