View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

Alex Salmond says there will be ‘inevitable investigation’ into Treasury’s ‘market sensitive’ RBS leak to BBC

By Press Association

Alex Salmond (pictured, Reuters) has said there would be an "inevitable investigation" over allegations that the Treasury leaked "market-sensitive" information about Royal Bank of Scotland's proposal to register itself in England if Scotland votes for independence.

The First Minister and SNP leader said the alleged BBC briefing by a "Treasury source" was "a matter of extraordinary gravity", and urged the BBC to co-operate with the probe that must follow.

Speaking at a press conference for international journalists in Edinburgh, Salmond said: "A Treasury source told the BBC that it had discussed the plans with RBS.

"The Treasury, officials or ministers, are not allowed to brief market-sensitive information.

"Market-sensitive information, and it's a basic rule, cannot be released prior to the market announcement at 7am this morning.

"RBS share price changed overnight. This is a matter of extraordinary gravity.

"I've always respected, and I will continue to respect, the journalistic right to maintain and protect sources.

Content from our partners
New technology from EX.CO helps publishers double on-site video revenue
Five ways to fail in media job interviews
How Germany's Ippen.Media mastered content planning across 86 newsrooms

"But I know that the BBC will want to co-operate with the inevitable investigation by the Cabinet Secretary to the briefing of this information, given that the briefing of information – even if we weren't in a referendum campaign, even if there weren't purdah rules which are meant to apply to government – the briefing of market information is as serious a matter as you can possibly get."

Some members of the audience – which was packed with supporters as well as international journalists – laughed and applauded when the First Minister spoke of the BBC's "impartial role as public sector broadcaster".

BBC political editor Nick Robinson was also heckled from the audience while questioning the First Minister.

RBS, which has been based in Scotland since 1727, said it would be necessary to re-domicile the bank's holding company and its main operating entity to England if Scotland votes Yes.

It said the decision to re-domicile should have no impact on everyday banking services and it would retain a significant level of its operations and employment in Scotland.

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network