No words of comfort

No words of comfort

THANKS to Ged Nichols, general secretary of the Accord trade union, for a reminder that it is the six-year anniversary of chief executive Andy Hornby's reassuring memo to staff at Edinburgh-based HBOS.

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"Colleagues will be aware of completely unfounded rumours in the City of London this morning about the financial stability of many of the UK's largest banks, including HBOS," he wrote.

"That is most definitely not true either for HBOS or any other UK financial institution."

Whatever happened to that bank?

Drinks buddies

GOOD humour was in abundance when Brian Calder and John Gilligan reflected on the personal chemistry between them and their respective teams, which helped pave the way for Tennent Caledonian Breweries to buy Wallaces Express outright last week.

The deal came about a year after TCB had initially taken a 50% stake in the Irvine-base drinks wholesaler.

"Unfortunately, we have known each other for an awful long time!" Mr Calder quipped.

"I hate talking about drinks industry veterans, but you are talking about 80 years of experience here."

Fast numbers

BREWING boss Scott Williams shuddered briefly when asked how much Williams Bros and Tennent Caledonian Breweries would be investing in their Drygate Brewing Company joint venture in Glasgow's East End.

Commenting as he showed The Bottom Line around the impressive development, which will combine breweries with bars, eating areas, function spaces and a shop when it opens later this spring, Mr Williams replied: "£2.1 million. It helps if I say it quickly!"

Top trumps

THE picture of Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne on the business card of Richard Simpson, director of marketing agency Tayburn, had The Bottom Line wondering if it could herald a new pastime for the corporate world: top trumps for business.

Presumably Mr Bannatyne, who fronts a campaign for Tayburn client Scottish Provident, would trump many of his UK counterparts, such is his track record.

But it would be intriguing to see how his theoretical points tally would match up with fellow business dragons Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney.

We suspect all five would find the going tough against Sir Richard Branson.