Employers tighten their purse strings during festive period

SOME of Scotland’s biggest employers have lost some of the Christmas spirit as they reveal that they will be making no financial contribution to an office party this year.

A survey has revealed that organisations including Standard Life, Aegon, Scottish Enterprise and Northern Rock will not be funding Christmas parties.

Staff can still organise their own party but they will have to dip into their own pockets.  

Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds say they will only be making modest contributions to the cost of staff parties. Continue reading

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Card skimming warning at RBS machine on Princes Street

By Amanda MacMillan

A NEW warning has been issued for people using cash machines in Edinburgh after a card skimming device was discovered attatched to one of the city’s busiest outlets.

Lothian and Borders Police are urging the public to remain vigilant after it was found on an RBS cash machine on Princes Street.

The device was found around 7pm on Tuesday after a man noticed that the ATM had been tampered with when attempting to withdraw cash. Continue reading

RBS pulls out of Edinburgh Doors Open Day due to security risks

By Amanda MacMillan

ROYAL Bank of Scotland bosses have been forced to slam shut plans to take part in Edinburgh’s prestigious Doors Open Day this weekend – for fear protestors would hijack their HQ.

The sprawling RBS campus at Gogarburn was supposed to be among a host of buildings taking part in the annual project which lets the public behind the walls of well known property.

Now in its 20th year the event gives people the chance to explore some of the city’s most architecturally, culturally and socially significant buildings including the Usher Hall, Burns Monument and City Chambers.

But fears protestors could take advantage just weeks after climate change activists lay siege to the site have prompted their withdrawal.

An RBS spokesperson confirmed: “We were very much looking forward to opening our doors to the Edinburgh community.  Continue reading

Five Climate Camp protesters appear in court

By Martin Graham and Amanda MacMillan

FIVE people accused or being involved in a series of eco protests against the Royal Bank of Scotland appeared in court today (Tues).

They were part of the Climate Camp group which set up a temporary village beside the RBS headquarters at Gogarburn and alleged to have launched a series of protests against businesses in Edinburgh on Monday.

None gave addresses in Scotland.

Giovanni Specials, 38, and Tim Gee, 25, both from London, and Cara Whelan, 34 from Ceredigion in Wales, were charged with breach of the peace in relation to a protest at the RBS branch at Nicolson Street.

They were accused of stopping customers from entering the bank, chanting slogans and gluing themselves together in an attempt to block access to the bank.

They all denied the charges. Continue reading

Police seize weapons as skirmishes break out at Climate Camp protest

By Shaun Milne, Martin Graham, Christine Lavelle & Amanda MacMillan

HUNDREDS of climate change protesters clashed with police after a tense stand-off at the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh descended into sporadic violence tonight (mon).

Dozens of officers dressed in full riot gear formed a human shield around the £335 million complex at Gogarburn to face down eco activists from Climate Camp.

Shortly before 6pm pockets of protestors began throwing missiles and using catapult to fire objects onto the police front line.

Much of the arsenal appeared to include nothing more than water balloons filled with brown sticky liquid and cans of Silly String.

But chillingly, officers also seized heavy mesh hammers, tools and a coal chisel from members of the group who had earlier wreaked havoc on Edinburgh.

Barricade

After a three hour stand-off with police at Gogarburn, a small group of protesters ran down to the forefront, where a makeshift barricade had been put up, cutting down branches of trees to ease their way.

Loud booms could be heard as the brown balloons hit off office windows, before spilling out their brown liquids.

Heavily armoured police brought out shields to stop the missiles hitting their targets. Continue reading

RBS urges caution to workers as climate camp continues

By Oliver Farrimond

UNDER-SEIGE RBS workers have been ordered to work from home after climate change protestors threatened “direct action”.

Some of the 1,000 activists camped outside the RBS headquarters in Gogarburn are reportedly planning more disruptive action after last week’s attempt to storm the building.

And now bank bosses have told workers to consider alternative options to guarantee their safety.

A spokesman for RBS said: “Our priority is to ensure we minimise disruption for staff and customers. Continue reading

Handful of arrests as activists pitch up at RBS headquarters

By Martin Graham, Christine Lavelle and Michael MacLeod

ECO protestors stormed the grounds surrounding the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ in Edinburgh today.

They also launched other climate change protests in the city centre as police made a small number of arrests.

Around 150 activists – going under the name Climate Group – pitched 30 tents and a small marquee inside the grounds of the RBS campus shortly before bank staff reported for duty at 9am.

Police and security guards in high visibility vests immediately set up a cordon round the sprawling Gogarburn site near Edinburgh Airport, and positioned officers on the RBS bridge overhanging the main A8 road nearby.

The protest is over financial support for fossil fuel investments.
Continue reading