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Current Affairs, Politics & Current Affairs
Publication Date
06 June 2014
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
In Stock
Birlinn Limited


Inside RBS, the Bank That Broke Britain
Longlisted for the  2014 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award


eBook also available from the iBookstore

Watch Ian Fraser on RT: RBS: A Time Bomb Waiting To Explode. Ian Fraser Shredded: Inside RBS on Max Keiser

Shredded is a magnificent book. I regard it as one of the best investigative books of the past decade’ – Eamonn O'Neill, BBC Radio Scotland

‘A gripping account … RBS was a rogue business, operating in what had become a rogue industry, with the connivance of government. Read it and weep’ – Martin Wolf, Financial Times

‘A model of the journalist’s craft, Zola-esque in its broad and unsparing study of corporate hubris and nemesis and haunting in the questions it leaves in its wake’ – Bill Jamieson, Scotsman

‘Impeccably researched and hard to put down at any point … The author pulls no punches’ – Philip Augar, Financial Times

‘Explosive’ – Tom Harper, Independent on Sunday

‘Combines Greek tragedy with real-life events that have affected us all. It’s hard to put down’ – Devraj Ray, Mortgage Strategy

‘I don’t think I have ever read such a perfect morality tale for our times’ – Iona Bain, FT Adviser

‘The definitive text. I’m thinking of Barbarians at the Gate about Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and RJR Nabisco. An instant classic’ – Max Keiser, The Keiser Report

‘You should absolutely read Ian Fraser’s Shredded. It is probably the definitive work on the British and Irish banks in the Great Bubble and the ensuing Great Financial Crisis’ – Alexander Harrowell, The Yorkshire Ranter

‘Engrossing, fascinating and appalling… a fast-paced and sickeningly-depressing exposition of what can go wrong when corporate governance fails’ – Ruth Bender, Cranfield University

‘Magisterial…. the most detailed catalogue to date of the errors and misdemeanours leading up to RBS’s 2008 collapse and the failure – in Fraser’s view – to reform the bank in its aftermath’ – Colin Donald, Herald

‘A rattling good read. Hubris, nemesis. Truly shocking’ – Paul Rogerson, Law Society Gazette

‘A manual for understanding banks, the financial crisis, and also corporate greed and hubris’ – P.C. Dettman

‘The definitive account of the RBS fiasco. It's an engaging tale of how self-serving bank executives systematically broke the rules, lent with astonishing recklessness, abused customers and got suckered by Wall Street - before dumping their mess on the taxpayers’ – Yves Smith, author of Naked Capitalism

‘Nearly six years after the bailout, Shredded reminds us how much of banking reform is still a work in progress’ – Nick Dunbar,

‘Ian Fraser has produced a genuine page turner’ – Alex Marsh, Pieria

‘The best financial book I’ve ever read. Thank you, Ian, for a public service’ – Simon Bain, Herald

‘Not just the definitive book on the collapse of RBS but one of the best five books on the great financial collapse which changed the history of the 21st century. Ian pulls no punches in his conclusions’ – Russell Napier, CLSA

‘This book should be posted through the letterbox of every taxpayer in Britain’ – David Mellor, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury

At its zenith, the Royal Bank of Scotland was the world’s biggest bank. It had assets of $3 trillion, employed over 200,000 people, had branches on every high street and was admired and trusted by millions of borrowers and investors. Now the mere mention of its name causes anger and resentment, and its former CEO, Fred Goodwin, is reviled as one of the architects of the worst financial crisis since 1929.

In Shredded, Ian Fraser lifts the lid on the catastrophic mistakes that led the bank to the brink of collapse, scrutinizing the role played by RBS’s directors who failed to check Goodwin’s hubris, the colleagues who were overawed by his despotic leadership style, the politicians who created a regulatory free-for-all in which banks went virtually unsupervised, and the investors who egged Goodwin on.

As more and more toxic details emerge about the bank’s pre- and post-bailout misconduct, which stretches from the ruination of numerous small businesses in the UK and Ireland to the criminal fiddling of Yen Libor, and from the alleged manipulation of global foreign-exchange markets to the wholesale ‘mis-selling’ of US mortgage bonds, Ian Fraser examines what the future holds for RBS and whether it can ever regain the public’s trust.

Ian Fraser is an award-winning journalist, commentator and broadcaster whose work has been published by among others The Economist, Financial Times, The Sunday Times, Independent on Sunday, Guardian, Observer, Mail on Sunday, Herald, Sunday Herald, Thomson Reuters, Huffington Post, economia and QFINANCE. He has taught at the University of Stirling, and his BBC documentary, RBS: The Bank That Ran Out of Money, was short-listed for a Bafta. He is a graduate of St Andrews University and lives in Scotland. Find out more about Ian here.