£6 A Hit To See Bailed-Out Bank Boss's Country Estate

Stephen Hester

But it's all for charity.

The Sun reports that Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Stephen Hester opened his lavish garden to the public yesterday - and just a handful of people stumped up the £6 entrance fee.

But the newspaper reports that the open day was a washout. One of Hester’s 8 full-time gardeners at Broughton Grange blamed pelting rain, saying: 'We usually get about 500 people, but it’s really tipping down so we’ve only had one or two'.

In the meantime, The Wall Street Journal reports that, five years on from beginning a push to become a top player in investment banking, Royal Bank of Canada 'is hovering at the edges.....but its efforts have come at a high cost and produced volatile earnings'.

The newspaper quotes Michael Holland, from private investment firm Holland & Co, who said: 'They were well positioned by the (financial) crisis, but they haven't moved the needle a tremendous amount'.

And Bloomberg reports that Irving Picard, who said last year he hoped to pay investors in Bernard Madoff’s defunct firm as much as $65bn, has only put his hands on about $2.6n to actually give back to customers.

More than three years after Madoff’s epic swindle collapsed, Picard, the trustee responsible for liquidating the firm, has paid investors back about $330m, while holding about $2.3b in customer accounts. About $6.4bn that Picard has won in settlements with former Madoff investors is being challenged in court and is unavailable for disbursement.

So far, winding down the Madoff estate has cost about $554m.

Reuters reports that Aberdeen Asset Management saw its underlying pre-tax profit rise 14% in its first half year after a recovery in client risk appetite boosted assets under management and the funds house improved its fee margins.

The UK fund manager said in a statement on Monday its pre-tax profit rose to £162.2m pounds in the six months to end-March.

Finally, Bloomberg reports that Unipec Asia Company Ltd., a subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., sued BNP Paribas in Hong Kong to recover $46.6m from the French bank.

Unipec Asia’s suit alleges that BNP breached a stand-by letter of credit.

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