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Should banks sponsor sports stars?

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A bit like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas, parliamentarian John Mann has called on the likes of tennis player Andy Murray, equestrian star Zara Phillips and motor racing great Sir Jackie Stewart to scrap their sponsorship contracts with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Bleeding red all over its accounts and shedding thousands of jobs, the struggling Scottish bank has been heavily criticised for doling out bonus payments to staff despite receiving billions of pounds of state aid.

So the relevation RBS has splashed out 200 million pounds on sports sponsorship – the bank also has a promotion deal with the rugby union Six Nations tournament – has come at the worst possible time.

“That level of excess clearly can’t be justified,” said Mann. “Not one ambassador, but loads, not short-term contracts, but long-term contracts, not small amounts of money, but large amounts of money.”

Banks rescue package: will they start lending again?

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Melanie Bien, director, Savills Private Finance, is a guest commentator. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.

It is too early to say whether the latest bank rescue plan will have the desired effect of persuading the banks to start lending again. But it is a step in the right direction and we welcome it as a positive move as it may just remove the remaining stumbling blocks to getting the credit and mortgage markets functioning properly once more.
Clearly, something further had to be done. October’s Β£37bn bank recapitalisation did little to persuade banks to regain their appetite for lending. Credit continues to be difficult to come by – unless you have a large deposit or equity in your home and a clean credit history.

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