The Bank that almost broke Britain – a timely reminder of how unchecked excess can damage the very fabric of society
It’s hard to imagine now, but in the heady days before the financial crisis the Royal Bank of Scotland was seen as the crown jewel in the booming British economy.
From its humble roots as a small Scottish bank, RBS, under the stewardship of then chief executive Fred Goodwin, grew rapidly to briefly become the biggest in the world.
However, huge exposures to toxic US sub-prime mortgage debt and a disastrous takeover of Dutch banking giant ABN AMRO brought it to its knees in October 2008 – and nearly took with it the entire British economy.
What ensued was the biggest financial bail-out in British history and a decade-long economic recovery that is yet to play out in full.
Little did we know at the time, but Britain was on the brink of financial Armageddon.
A decade on, the BBC’s The Bank that almost broke Britain documents the dramatic 24 hours that followed RBS’ collapse and the race against time to save the country’s banking system.
This tense financial documentary serves as a reminder of how unchecked excess can distort and degrade the very fabric of our society.
You can watch the The Bank that almost broke Britain on BBC iPlayer, or by clicking here.