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Posts Tagged ‘RBS’

Hepworth sculpture campaign victory

October 16th, 2014 by

We’re celebrating today after an announcement by RBS that they will return Barbara Hepworth’s multi-million pound sculpture to the public.

The sculpture was donated to Wolverhampton’s shopping complex in 1968 for public enjoyment. But it was removed last year when the centre was put up for sale by its owners, Delancey and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Richard, a 38 Degrees member, set up a petition on Campaigns by You for the sculpture to be returned. He presented nearly 3,000 signatures to the petition to RBS, Delancey and the Mander Centre earlier this month.

Here’s what petition starter Richard said about the announcement:
“This is a fantastic win. Whatever they may say now, we do know for sure that Delancey and RBS certainly considered seriously the option of selling off the sculpture at one point. The campaign to save it forced them to re-think, and this petition has been a powerful element in the campaign, giving voice to the views of thousands of ordinary folk, and giving a real mandate to the efforts of the councillors and MPs who talked to RBS on our behalf.

As our supporter Antony Gormley has said: “There is, in this monetarist time, an assumption that ‘common good’ can be trumped by the values of a liberalised economy; let us hope you can change that assumption here.”

Well, in a small way, we have, and we hope that this may give encouragement to other communities fighting to keep their own public art from being asset stripped.”

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George Osborne and the Mansion House Speech

June 20th, 2013 by


38 Degrees staff and volunteers at the Mansion House in London.

Yesterday,  we all read in the papers that George Osborne was planning on flogging off our publicly-owned bank, RBS, on the cheap. He was due to make an announcement that evening at the annual Mansion House speech.

Nimble as ever, a petition was launched demanding that he didn’t sell off our bank at bargain basement prices. We called for him to listen to the commission on banking (set up by Osborne himself)  and examine all the options on the table. Thousands of us called for him to decide what’s best for the economy and the British people, not just the bankers.

Within hours there were tens of thousands of signatures on the petition, so a group of 38 Degrees staff and volunteers dashed down to Mansion House just before George was due to arrive in order to hand in the petition.  Members had been tweeting messages to George Osborne all day so he’d seen the petition growing and growing.

With press and police surrounding the building, we waited by the front door for George to arrive.  Ambassadors, bankers and more flowed into the building, but George was no-where to be seen.

As the time for his speech approached, we were informed by a policeman that George had been tipped off that we were waiting for him, and his team had snuck him in a side entrance so that he didn’t have to meet us.

In good news though, at the speech he abandoned his plan for a quick RBS sell-off!

This is a huge step in the right direction. But all the options for RBS’s future need to be looked at. He’s just said he’ll have a limited review into splitting RBS into a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bank. He’s ignoring a whole range of other ideas – from public ownership right through to breaking it up into smaller local banks.

60,000 of us have now signed the petition calling for a full, open and transparent review and public pressure is already having an effect on Osborne. Now we need to ramp it up a notch and make sure he acts in the best interests of those who actually own RBS – us, the taxpayers.

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Did you get a £1m bonus this year?

January 27th, 2012 by

Photograph by Getty Images

Have you seen the news today? Stephen Hester, chief of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), has been awarded a bonus worth £1 million.

We’ve already had to bail out RBS to the tune of billions of pounds. Since then, it has failed to meet targets set by the government for lending to small businesses. And now we’re expected to cough up £1 million to reward the chief executive for good work.

Politicians have failed to stop RBS awarding this bonus to Stephen Hester. Today, lots of them are speaking out, asking him to refuse to accept the money. A Foreign Office minster, Jeremy Brown MP, said that Mr Hestor earned more in three days than a soldier fighting in Afghanistan earns in a year.

If we all add our names to a huge petition telling Stephen Hester to refuse his bonus, we can shame him into doing the right thing.

The gap between the have and have-nots in our society is getting bigger all the time. Many wealthy bankers, politicians and businessmen seem to live in a different world from the rest of us. In their world, it’s the done thing to make as much money as possible for yourself while watching others struggle to get by.

Government ministers have done nothing to stop this massive payout – so let’s tell Stephen Hester directly that tens of thousands of us are disgusted at his bonus and demand that he do the right thing.

We’ll deliver all the signatures to him at RBS offices. He might decide that the money means more to him than his sense of what’s right and wrong. Or he might bow to our pressure and refuse to accept the payout.

One way or the other, we can send this bank boss a clear message – tens of thousands of us believe that it is wrong for him to take this money.

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