The Bank That Almost Broke Britain, broadcast on Tuesday 2nd October on BBC Two at 21.00, tells the extraordinary story of how a small Scottish bank - the Royal Bank of Scotland - grew to become the biggest in the world, before collapsing and triggering the largest financial bail-out in British history.
The documentary follows the spectacular rise and shocking fall of the bank, with revealing recollections from those who were on the inside at the time, including then Chancellor Alistair Darling, former Business Minister Baroness Shriti Vadera, ex-RBS Chairman Sir George Mathewson and Governor of the Bank of England at the time, Mervyn King.
The Bank That Almost Broke Britain also explores the truth behind the story of Sir Fred Goodwin, who in less than six years rose from an unknown accountant to overseeing the extraordinary growth of RBS as its CEO.
Viewers will hear of RBS’s lavish spending under Goodwin, with a private company jet and the bank's spectacular new £350m headquarters on the outskirts of Edinburgh - featuring never-seen-before footage of its opening party, attended by the Queen.
Less than three years later, Goodwin’s bank was on its knees and those charged with protecting the British economy were faced with a stark ultimatum - save RBS or risk the country's banking system being taken down by its collapse.
The documentary reveals how the Government had just 24 hours to come up with a plan, with the nation's economy at stake, and asks how much of the political turmoil we experience today can be directly traced back to the bail-out of the banks.
The Bank That Almost Broke Britain is produced by STV Productions.
Executive Producer Michael McAvoy at STV Productions, said: “This financial thriller gives viewers real insight into the nightmare scenario that unraveled that day in October 2008 and reveals how close the country came to financial disaster.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About STV Productions
STV Productions is one of the UK’s leading content businesses with ambitious plans for domestic and international growth.
The company has a record of success across a range of genres, including drama, entertainment and factual, for a wide range of broadcasters. Ratings winner Antiques Road Trip has run for sixteen series on the BBC, along with seven series of sister programme Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. A further two series of Antiques Road Trip and an eighth series of Celebrity Antiques Road Trip are now in production.
In entertainment, the company has produced six series of Catchphrase for ITV, game shows And They’re Off...for Sport Relief for BBC One and Babushka for ITV Daytime, as well as The Dressing Room for UKTV’s entertainment channel W.
STV Productions has a track record of producing quality drama, with four part thriller The Victim currently in production for BBC One. The company recently announced a second BBC commission - 90 minute drama Elizabeth is Missing, adapted from Emma Healey’s novel. Previous drama productions include Taggart and Rebus for ITV.
Highlights among Factual series and specials include Britain’s Polar Bear Cub for Channel 4, two series of Prison: First & Last 24 Hours for Sky1, Ross Kemp Behind Bars – Inside Barlinnie for ITV, Scotland and the Battle for Britain presented by Andrew Marr for BBC Two, Fire in the Night, an award winning feature documentary to mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster and Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered for BBC1, Smithsonian Channel and Discovery Canada.
STV Productions works with a number of leading international sales agents that distribute its completed programmes and formats outside the UK. The company recently announced a partnership with Sky Vision, covering international distribution rights to STV Productions' unscripted catalogue as well as a global distribution deal for forthcoming BBC drama, The Victim.
STV Productions has a strategic development partnership with Motion Content Group to create new entertainment, factual and drama projects for the UK and international markets.