Written by Tragic Rabbit
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Saturday, 19 April 2008

image for Bank to panhandle for cash
Lower echelon bank employees appear to have the wrong idea.

Britain's second largest bank, Royal Thistle Bank of Scotland, is to ask passerby for about £10bn of extra cash to improve its financial position and meet its quarterly shortfall.

RTBS will raise the money from kindly pedestrians through by far the most egregious instance of corporate begging ever seen in UK history.

The global credit crunch has meant banks worldwide are keen to shore up their capital positions - and it is thought other banks may follow RTBS's move.

RTBS, owner of NatWest, Ulster Bank and insurer Direct Line, has not commented.

In a statement, it would only confirm it would give a shareholder trading update next week as planned. The update is due ahead of its annual meeting on Wednesday.

"I understand that next week they will announce a massive demand for new cash from anyone they can annoy sufficiently to cough up money," said BBC business editor Robert Pest.

Our BBC correspondent has learned that RTBS expects to make about £5bn via panhandling.

"This may sound like horrible news," he said but he added: "investors may well see it as a recognition that RTBS has properly owned up to its boo-boos - and they would view such willingness to work hard, to hit the streets, as very good news".

"It is going to be pretty humiliating for upper management," Simon Mann at MF Global Securities.

"They're going to stand out there in their button-down suits, holding up signs that say, 'will work for cash' and 'please - my shareholders are hungry'. That is pretty embarrassing," he added.

Analysts stressed that the shortfall shouldn't worry people with accounts at any RTBS banks.

"This is not a customer issue, it's an arithmetic issue," said Justin Ubang Foo from Seven Investment Management, "In sum, RTBS can't balance their books for shyte."

Tragic Rabbit, Business Fecker Journal, Thistle-land

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