Friday, 3 October 2008

Bank merger definitely on, maybe...

With confusion still abounding over the proposed merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB, senior civil servants contacted by the JT describe the situation as "fluid".

Speaking from Holyrood, our source said: "The bank merger is definitely on. Hang on, it's off. Oh wait, that's it back on again. Oh just a minute, that's it back off. On, off, on, off. Fuck it."

Meanwhile, working on the basis that the deal does go ahead, Alex Salmond this week called a special meeting of his Council of Economic Advisors, asking the boffins to come up with a watertight case to put to Lloyds TSB on future banking operations in Scotland.

Mr Salmond told the JT: "I want a hard-headed, no-sentiment business case for Lloyds maintaining a high-level management team in Scotland. I'm asking the Council to come up with ten good reasons why Edinburgh should remain a centre of strategic banking. I've already come up with reason #1 - Edinburgh. It's got a nice castle."

Back in the real world, it is thought most likely that, should the merger go ahead, Lloyds would engage in a round of cost-cutting, as this senior complete banker now explains: "Short-term ramping-up of the share price means big bonus bonanza time. The only rational argument bankers are interested in is the one with big zeroes attached."

Inside: This Council of Economic Advisors... sounds a bit Star Wars, doesn't it? Ah. The Keynesian income multiplier effect is strong in this one, Master Luke" etc.

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