John Gapper Two veteran Scotsmen ride to the rescue

It makes me feel nostalgic to consider the possibility that Peter Burt and George Mathewson could end up taking charge of an independent HBOS as an alternative to a rescue/takeover by Lloyds TSB.

In my young days as a banking correspondent in the early 1990s, Sir Peter and Sir George were in charge of the two Scottish banks – Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland – that emerged strongly from that banking downturn.

Since then, of course, both HBOS and RBS have strayed into difficulties and had to gain fresh capital from the UK government.

I always suspected that Sir George, a restless fellow, would be infuriated by what happened to the Scottish banks and now I have my evidence.