beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

Publication - FOI/EIR release

Meetings with Royal Bank of Scotland officials: FOI release

Published: 5 Mar 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
5 Mar 2018
Meetings with Royal Bank of Scotland officials: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/00379
Date received: 8 February 2018
Date responded: 5 March 2018

Information requested

1. A list of meetings between Scottish Government ministers or officials with Royal Bank of Scotland officials or executives between 1 December 2017 and today's date (8 February 2018)

2. Minutes of said meetings

3. Any correspondence between Scottish Government ministers or officials with Royal Bank of Scotland between 1 December 2017 and today's date (8 February 2018).

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections s27(1) - information intended for future publication and s30(b)(ii) - free and frank provision of advice of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

1. List of meetings

  • 1 December 2017. Call between Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy and RBS.

  • 13 December 2017. Meeting between Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy and RBS.

  • 19 December 2017. Meeting of the Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB).

  • 6 February 2018. Meeting between Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy and members of the banking sector.

Documents are attached below

Reasons for not providing information

Section 27(1) - information intended for future publication

An exemption(s) under section(s) s27(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. The exemption in section 27(1) allows public authorities to refuse to disclose information if they already plan to publish it within the next 12 weeks, but only if it is reasonable to delay disclosing the information until the planned date of publication.

In this instance, the document in question will be published prior to 25 April 2018.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of media interest in the recent branch closures announcements by Royal Bank of Scotland, and this will be met by our planned publication. In the meantime, we see no public interest in disrupting our programme of work to release the information ahead of the intended publication date. We intend to publish that information by 25 April which is within 12 weeks of the date of your request. We consider that it is reasonable to withhold the information until that date, rather than release all of this routinely published information before the planned publication date.

Section 30(b)(ii) - prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs

An exemption(s) under section(s) s30(b)(ii) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. Section 30 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) exempts information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, cause substantial harm to one or more of the following:

  • the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of the Scottish Ministers

  • the free and frank provision of advice

  • the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation

  • the effective conduct of public affairs

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of media interest in the recent branch closures announcements by Royal Bank of Scotland. However, this is outweighed by the public interest because disclosure would, or would be likely to, inhibit substantially the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. This exemption recognises the need for Ministers to have a private space within which to discuss issues and options with external stakeholders before the Scottish Government reaches a settled public view.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG