If you were allowed to give Clydesdale Bank chief executive David Thorburn only one piece of advice, it would probably be that he should avoid looking at the Australian press clippings.

One recent article in the Australian Financial Review would seem likely to have prompted a heartfelt, perhaps weary, sigh from Mr Thorburn, assuming he has not yet given up on reading the papers from Oz. Then again, there is a good chance the long-suffering Mr Thorburn might have become inured to the seemingly relentless barrage of negative headlines from Down Under about the UK operation of National Australia Bank (NAB). He has, after all, been running this operation for years.

The author of the article in the Financial Review had run into "a very relaxed" former chief executive of NAB, Cameron Clyne, and made a remark about what a costly mistake the Australian institution's strategy of buying UK banks in the late-1980s and early-1990s had been.

Mr Clyne, we are told, smiled, and pointed out the anomaly that a relatively quick strategic decision could take years to unpick.

The article then quotes Mr Clyne as follows: "I spent six years of my life on it. They'll get out of there eventually."

Mr Thorburn has spent far more than six years of his life in the top management ranks of Clydesdale, having taken up the post of chief operating officer back in 2002.

Having worked at the bank for many years before joining the top team, he has spent most of his career at the Glasgow-based institution. During that time, you would imagine he will have had to deal with plenty of frustrations arising from Clydesdale's overseas ownership.

Like most parent companies, NAB is likely to have dictated much of Clydesdale's strategy.

And, during the good times, the Australians looked to be holding the purse strings too tightly when Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland were investing heavily in their Scottish operations.

Over the years, Mr Thorburn has certainly not had his challenges to seek. These have included deep cost-cutting programmes, with hundreds of jobs shed, and the fall-out from Clydesdale's part in the mis-selling of payment protection insurance and complex business loans in the UK.

Customers of Clydesdale, both personal and business, can be justifiably annoyed about the Australian-owned institution's part in these mis-selling debacles. We have highlighted on these pages the significant personal toll on some business owners who have taken out complex loans from Clydesdale.

It is important to note Clydesdale has been far from alone in these mis-selling scandals, with plenty of other UK banks also heavily involved.

That said, by virtue of its ownership, Clydesdale has found itself very firmly in the firing line in the Australian press over these scandals.

It was interesting to watch the snap headlines roll in on news agency Reuters' financial terminals in mid-August, after it was announced that Clydesdale was planning to set aside at least another £245 million to meet customer redress claims, bringing the total provisions for mis-selling to more than £800m. These provisions cover Clydesdale and sister bank Yorkshire.

The rolling headlines on the Reuters terminal included takes on two articles from the Sydney Morning Herald, and read as follows: 'Clydesdale gives NAB kicking' and 'Thorburn takes scourer to UK stains'. This was a reference to Andrew Thorburn, who succeeded Mr Clyne as chief executive of NAB, and is not a relation of the Clydesdale boss.

Then there were the snaps about two articles from the Australian Financial Review, which read: 'NAB adds 440m [Australian dollars] to UK scandal bill' and 'More British troubles ahead for bank'.

The headline from last week, bringing us the Australian Financial Review's article about Mr Clyne, was 'NAB may just flee its British headaches'.

Unhelpfully for David Thorburn, the sentiment expressed by Mr Clyne is not atypical of remarks from past or serving NAB top brass.

When he was executive director of finance at NAB, Mark Joiner told Australian journalists in 2011: "Why do we need to bias our capital to the UK when the economy is expected to be on its knees for 10 years or so? There are growth opportunities in Australia."

He added: "The market is at the bottom...It is a rotten time to sell. There will be no fire sale."

So Mr Thorburn could certainly be forgiven if he wished to consign the Australian press clippings to the recycling bin without reading them.

More seriously, the reality of the matter is that Clydesdale has, to a greater or lesser degree, generally been up for sale over the years. The fact that it has not been sold is ample evidence that there are few, if any, potential buyers out there for Clydesdale and Yorkshire.

Apparently negative comments about the UK operation from serving or former NAB chiefs would seem unlikely to entice a buyer, or boost the price if a purchaser were to show up.

At least as importantly, they are hardly a source of motivation for the 7,100-strong workforce of NAB's UK banking operations, about 3,700 of whom are in Scotland.