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Will With Royal Bank of Scotland ever escape the stench of failure?

Since Royal Bank of Scotland hit the buffers last October there have been many changes at Scotland's leading bank although there have been many negative headlines across the world. Only in the midst of a recession was the culture and cost base of the bank opened up to the public, with many analysts and experts astounded at the way in which the operation had been run.

We saw Sir Fred Goodwin walk away with a multi-million pound pension pot, we saw the UK government step in and take a majority stake in the business and we saw a number of high-profile (and expensive) directors parachuted in to tidy up the mess. Even though there has been some progress in reorganising the business, with the pension fund the latest target of Stephen Hester, there is still a feeling that the bank is being cleaned up ready to be sold on at some stage.

This is a business and brand name which has ultimately been holed below the waterline and which is still held in contempt in some areas of the business and consumer world. With the company likely to have a financial straitjacket for many years to come there is a feeling that the freedom enjoyed in the past, which led to the bank become one of the largest in the world, may well have gone forever.

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