The Royal Bank of Scotland's failure, which has led to the bank effectively being nationalised by the UK Government to save it, and save its customers, was nothing to do with either Sir Fred Goodwin or the Bank's 'takeover too far' of the Dutch Bank ABN Amro, so says Douglas Mill, former Law Society Chief Executive and school friend of Sir Fred Goodwin.
Douglas Mill - it wasn't the Bank or Sir Fred’s fault, it was the lack of governance & control !
Douglas Mill, said in a BBC Scotland interview, which highlighted the alleged failures of Sir Fred Goodwin, whom some newspapers have dubbed "The World's worst banker" :"Well scapegoating is the right expression.".
Douglas Mill would know all about scapegoating, and how to avoid it, as he did for around eleven years as Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, who interfered & intervened in just about any case involving crooked lawyers which had the possibility to bring changes to the way solicitors were regulated by the Law Society.
Douglas Mill, staggeringly went on in the interview to blame the Royal Bank of Scotland's huge losses & failures on the financial markets on poor regulation of the Banking sector !
Douglas Mill went on in usual form : "The real failures here are failures of financial services regulation and that extends beyond the Royal Bank.
The real failures here are failures of lack of governance and lack of control in the whole banking sector not just the Royal Bank again its easy to be wise after the event but scapegoating Fred isn't going to address the problems here."
An amazing outburst indeed, from Mr Mill, who tirelessly campaigned against any strengthening of regulation against the legal sector in Scotland, and whose aims to prevent consumers being protected by increased safeguards & independent regulation of Scottish legal services are still being carried out today by the present Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, who himself said on video in the past, he would also protect lawyers from anything or anyone …
You can read an earlier article on how Mr MacAskill carries on Douglas Mill's 'traditions' of protecting the worst elements of Scotland's legal profession here : Justice Secretary rejects independent regulation of lawyers and public right of choice in legal services market
Indeed, it was, as you will all recall, Douglas Mill who infamously once threatened the Scottish Parliament and the previous Scottish Government with legal action if legislation was passed in the Scottish Parliament to protect consumers and strengthen regulation against Scottish solicitors.
Douglas Mill threatens to sue Parliament & Govt : ‘Holyrood in Solicitors’ sights by Ian Fraser
I wrote about Douglas Mill’s court challenge threat to Parliament here : Law Society of Scotland threatens Court challenge against Scottish Executive over LPLA legal reform Bill
We must also not forget this is the same Douglas Mill who famously scrapped with John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, in front of Holyrood's Justice 2 Committee, where Mr Swinney, then in opposition, exposed the secret memos of Mill himself which eventually led to the end of Mill's career at the Law Society after the video coverage of the event was posted to You Tube.
You can read more about the Holyrood confrontation between Douglas Mill & John Swinney here : Law Society boss Mill lied to Swinney, Parliament as secret memos reveal policy of intervention & obstruction on claims, complaints.
In the memos, it was revealed by John Swinney that Douglas Mill had been, and was still engaged in a bitter & protracted campaign against some of Mr Swinney's constituents to prevent them from obtaining access to legal services and financial settlements in long running claims against several of Scotland leading legal firms, which Mr Mill, and the Law Society's insurers Marsh UK, intended to delay and destroy at any cost.
It is worth noting that every single claim and complaint against 'crooked lawyers' which the now discredited ex-Law Society Chief Douglas Mill personally intervened in, ultimately failed to be resolved, and the particular case which Mr Swinney raised before the Justice 2 Committee along with Mill's own memos, also remains unresolved and without settlement.
Career ending video : Douglas Mill contradicts his own secret memos released by John Swinney during Justice Committee investigation
You may all be wondering why someone such as Douglas Mill may blame a lack of regulation of the banking sector as the cause of its catastrophic failure ?
Well, wonder no longer, as the banking sector, such as it used to be, went hand in hand with the legal sector, gaining billions of pounds of business & finance in Scotland from solicitors who themselves used clients funds and a myriad of other less than open financial deals with the banks, using clients money to gain personal finance deals and deals for their legal firms on spectacularly low interest rates which ordinary consumers had to prop up through exhorbitant costs of poor legal services and thousands of cases of lost clients funds each year which the Law Society under Douglas Mill did nothing about.
Interestingly, the same failures of regulation which Douglas Mill claims let down his friend, Sir Fred Goodwin, were the same kinds of regulation Mill actually fought against being implemented on the Law Society of Scotland, such as in the case where Douglas Mill claimed in an interview with Business Journalist Ian Fraser, that the Financial Services Authority would not allow any independent oversight of such things as the infamously corrupt Indemnity Insurance arrangements for Scottish solicitors known as the "Master Policy" which has led to some of the worst cases of corruption involving insurance in Scotland for decades.
It turned out the FSA were quite happy there would be independent regulation of the Master Policy, and I wrote some more about that issue here : Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland branded a liar after FSA denies claims of intervention to block complaints body.
You can read more about the Master Policy and how Douglas Mill as Chief Executive of the Law Society and his staff at ‘Client Relations’ implemented his 'policy for protection' of solicitors against claims & complaints here : The Corrupt Link Revealed - How the Law Society of Scotland manages client complaints & settlements.
More can be read about the Master Policy HERE
Perhaps what we learn from this story is that the banking world and legal world do tend to go hand in hand, when it comes to business, and scandals …. so both worlds need a fairly strong dose of independent regulation with effective policing of their activities, rather than the hands off approach which Mill and his kind have preferred over the years.
Mr MacAskill – adjust your policies accordingly, or step aside for someone who can protect the public, rather than simply protect the professions …