Why are Barclays increasing their Scottish presence? Douglas ‘Jolly’ Fraser misses the obvious possibility


We heard today, across the Scottish media, that Barclays plan to create (up to) 2 500 jobs in Glasgow. This will (may) double Barclay’s Scottish force and is, for the First minister, ‘transformational for Glasgow.’

Most commentators have mentioned lower labour costs, the skill pool and, of course, the £13 million sweetener from Scottish Enterprise/Scottish government. Douglas mentioned these but was more interested in making sure we didn’t get carried away with good news. He reminded us that it is ‘up to’ 2 500 jobs with at least some of these being transfers from London and that we should ‘treat this with caution.’ He also warned us that jobs are vulnerable to being replaced by technological advances.’ So, don’t get your hopes up. We’ll still be too wee, too poor and to stupid.

However, few of the sources today mentioned the Brexit factor and it’s closely linked, Scottish Independence in the EU, factor but two did:

‘A source at the bank [Barclays] said: “Nothing is a done deal until they start moving people, but Glasgow is cost-friendly, has a good workforce – and might be in the EU when independent.”’


‘Glasgow is cost-friendly, has a good workforce – and might be in the EU when independent, staff reporters are told. Barclays’ headquarters in London could be in name only in a post-Brexit world, according to plans seen by Chief-Exec.com, which outline Glasgow as a new hub of operations. Scotland would be the obvious choice destination for transfers of jobs and decision-making if it voted again to remain in the EU. The Barclays development is significant, therefore, because it appears to see an independent Scotland in the EU as a possible option.’


Tracing the source of the quote will be no easier than finding which Amazon exec ‘predicted a riot’ post-hard-Brexit.

Not making the same specific point but also suggesting confidence in Scotland’s future, Insider had this to say:

‘Although there has been much talk of firms moving operations away from the UK ahead of or after Brexit, Scotland has seen an encouraging number of recent investments. They included Julius Baer International, which opened an office in Edinburgh in May to serve as a headquarters for its operations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England. Graeme Jones, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise said: ‘The world’s largest global wealth manager would not be opening up in Scotland unless they were highly confident about future prospects here.’.’


How things have changed since Standard Life threatened to move to England in 2014.



8 thoughts on “Why are Barclays increasing their Scottish presence? Douglas ‘Jolly’ Fraser misses the obvious possibility

  1. John July 23, 2018 / 2:41 pm

    Heard the report , good news , forget the Rev. I am jolly Fraser , his gloom and doom knows no bounds , after all it is Radio Scotland .
    Barclays are not just investing more in Scotland, they are investing in other countries as well , looks like they are not putting all their eggs in the England basket . Scotland is on a roll at the moment for a few different reasons , but I wonder if these companies that are investing here are also looking at a (maybe ) Independent Scotland being in the EU , while England crashes out .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. William Henderson July 23, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    More employment opportunities are always good news. However, after the deal-confirming handshake with any big bank it would be essential to count how many fingers you still have!

    Perhaps, just perhaps, if Scotland were independent and the bank operating under Scots Law, in case of misbehaviour we would be able to jail their executives (as in Iceland) and proceed to economic recovery. I would find that really good news.

    For all that, thanks John for keeping up the flow of positives. It does my heart good to visit your site for a bit of balance each day.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ludo Thierry July 23, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    Hi John – Despite the potential for the Banking/Finance sector large players to bring some issues with them when they locate heavily in particular centres I feel the Glasgow news from today is very much a good news story. From what I have seen it does seem to represent real people doing real jobs rather than the crazier end of ‘casino banking’ that we all remember so fondly!

    Apols for going off-topic_ but I noticed a small piece in The Southern Reporter re. an update on the ‘Scottish’ Tory Black Money story and haven’t, yet, noticed the info carried anywhere else – so felt was worth posting a wee bit here – hope that’s OK? (Well done The Southern Reporter by the way):

    Note: Even these dribs and drabs of info are only being squeezed out of the ruling elites because the electoral support the Scottish voters have given the SNP has allowed questions to be raised in Westminster and Holyrood – and has allowed the elected Parliamentarians to support the digging work of the tiny ‘genuine’ media in Scotland. Little by little daylight is reaching this Dark Money trail. A few years back we’d never have learned anything about it:

    During Prime Minister’s questions last week, Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Mr Blackford said: “The trust has donated £319,000 to the Scottish Conservatives, yet there is no information available about who the people are who currently manage the trust and no public accounts to indicate who its donors are or what assets it holds.” Mrs May told him that all donations to the Scottish Conservatives were accepted and declared within the law. “The Scottish Conservatives worked with the Electoral Commission to make sure that it is all done properly,” she said.

    The trust has since published a statement giving an address in Mosspark Boulevard, Glasgow and a list of its trustees, including chairman Robert Miller-Bakewell, owner of Whiterigg in Melrose and also deputy chairman of Scottish Borders Conservatives and Unionists. However, question marks remain over the unincorporated association, responsible for handing out nearly £29,000 in donations to Scottish branches of the Tory party in the first two quarters of 2017, including nearly £12,000 to the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk branch ahead of Mr Lamont’s general election victory a year ago last month, ousting the SNP’s Calum Kerr.

    Speaking to the Southern this week, Mr Lamont said that all donations from the trust had been declared by the Scottish Conservative Party and made public. “The donations were all permissible donations and properly declared with the Electoral Commission,” Mr Lamont said. He added that his party would continue to work closely with the commission and comply with rules surrounding political donations.

    Under commission rules, unincorporated associations that donate more than £25,000 in a calendar year must register with the body and report gifts of £7,500 or more. However, the trust is not listed in the commission’s register of unincorporated associations, so the regulator has vowed to investigate.

    In a statement issued last Wednesday, the trust said it was formed in 1968 to take over the assets of the then Scottish Unionist Association, primarily derived from property sales. It continued: “It invests those assets and makes the proceeds available to further the aims of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. “All UK taxation liabilities have been and continue to be met in full.” A spokesman for the trust added: “We are in dialogue with the Electoral Commission, and it would be inappropriate to say more whilst that dialogue continues.”

    Good to have forced a ‘name’ out of the tories. Who might this Robert Miller-Bakewell be?

    Seems he is part of the ‘gig’ economy – according to info on the interweb he picks up a £64,000 per annum pittance for his Non-Exec duties with RPS Group (an infrastructure consultancy).

    Senior Independent Non-Executive:
    Robert joined the Board in May 2010 and is serving a second three year term. Robert was a Senior Director of Investment Research at Merrill Lynch from 1998 to 2008 and prior to this worked as an investment analyst with NatWest Markets and its predecessor companies.
    Over the previous twenty years his focus was on analysing and advising water, waste, transport and environmental infrastructure companies both in the UK and internationally. He is also a member of OFWAT’s Future Regulation Panel. Robert is the Chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees as well as being Senior Independent Director and a member of the Audit Committee.

    He was given a name check by Maggie Thatcher way back at the 1981 ‘Scottish’ tory conference speech.

    His brother Archie Miller-Bakewell seems like an interesting chap – he’s a retired army officer who seems to have been a Military Attache to Beijing and is (according to Wicki the post is still current) the Private Secretary to Chookie Edinburgh (Prince Phil) (see interweb snippets below):

    Yesterday, as usual, the duke was accompanied by his private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, as he chatted to dozens of guests, among them a little group from the British Association of Dairy Farmers and a couple of alumni from his old Scottish school, Gordonstoun.

    Sir Miles, who is 72 on Sunday, will be replaced by Brig Archie Miller-Bakewell. The new private secretary, who will no doubt do his best to keep up with Prince Philip, 89, is not afraid of controversy. He is said to have inspired the successful campaign to free two Scots Guards jailed for killing a teenager in Northern Ireland in 1992

    The defense attaché, brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, sees to official liaison between the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) and the People’s Liberation Army. A few months ago Miller-Bakewell replaced brigadier Gordon Kerr who found himself under fire in 2000 in the sensitive affair of the Force Research Unit.

    I have to say it all rather reeks of the ‘There’s a chap knows a chap who knows a chap…’ type of situation – still plenty to come out one suspects – More power to all those who have got even this far.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Gavin.c.Barrie July 23, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    Declare independence whilst we in Scotland are EU citizens gets my vote.

    EU bureaucracy vs Westminster bureaucracy, which is the lesser necessary evil that prevails upon it’s citizens?

    Liked by 3 people

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