Gef’s Daily Roundup

Is Your Banking Critical?

The Isle of Man Bank issued texts today asking customers to ‘only enter the branch if your visit is absolutely critical’.  

It added: ‘This could be for urgent cash transactions or to report fraud. Most day to day banking can be done via online or mobile banking or by phoning us. We are not holding face to face appointments at this time. Anything non-essential should be left until restrictions are eased. This is to ensure the safety of our island community and our branch staff.’

£1.7m on PR

The Manx gov has spent £1,751,858 in the past three years with a London based PR firm. 

In response to an FoI request, the gov said: ‘The Isle of Man Government has a contract with Lansons to provide public relations and public affairs services to the Isle of Man Government. 

‘These services include but are not limited to work in primarily the UK, focused on:

• Governmental and regulatory audiences to demonstrate that the Isle of Man is a responsible jurisdiction;

• The private sector to encourage trade with, investment in, relocation and re-domiciliation to the Island;

• Raising awareness of the Isle of Man’s distinct constitutional and cultural identity and its economic sectors; and

• Continuing to protect and promote the Island’s international reputation’

In 2018 the gov spent £557,892 of taxpayers’ money with Lanson, as well as £525,757 in 2019 and £668,209 in 2020.

Relay for Hope

Staff at Standard Bank have set themselves challenging targets as they chalk up the miles to support families in rural Africa.

Twenty-seven members of staff are walking, running or cycling as many miles as possible between now and the end of March as part of the Relay for Hope initiative.

Run by international development charity Send a Cow (SAC) of which Standard Bank is a major long-term strategic partner, the Relay for Hope has been launched to help raise funds for much needed work across sub-Saharan Africa.

Laura Lewandowskyj said: ‘The Relay for Hope is a wonderful endeavour. The take-up from our staff and the challenges they’ve set themselves have been so encouraging and, of course, the offices are competitive so we’ve indulged in some friendly rivalry. We’re delighted to hear that a team from Ballakermeen High School has also set up a Relay for Hope team – it’s great to see others on the Island support the charity. I cannot think of a greater initiative where every pound raised can help families work their way out of poverty with dignity.’

PM Concerned by Met Actions

Boris Johnson has said he is ‘deeply concerned’ by footage showing police officers detaining women at Saturday’s vigil to remember Sarah Everard. The prime minister will chair a meeting of the crime and justice taskforce to discuss ways to protect women. Officers handcuffed women and removed them from the gathering on Clapham Common in London on Saturday. Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has dismissed calls to resign and defended the force’s actions.

Brits Lead Oscars Charge

Sacha Baron-Cohen, Carey Mulligan, Olivia Colman, Daniel Kaluuya and Sir Anthony Hopkins are among the British stars nominated for this year’s Oscars. Vanessa Kirby, Gary Oldman and Riz Ahmed are among the other UK nominees. They are joined by the likes of Frances McDormand, Glenn Close, Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman.

Sacha Baron-Cohen’s nomination is for his supporting role in the The Trial of the Chicago 7 and not for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

Governor Under Fire

The Governor of the Bank of England has come under new criticism for failing to declare a potential conflict of interest in a scandal that saw thousands of bank customers mistreated. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was accused of benefiting as it left some of its customers in financial ruin. Now, it is reported that Andrew Bailey did not reveal his role in the scandal. That is despite being asked about it when he was appointed to his previous job as head of the city watchdog. The Bank of England said there was no interest to declare.

Myanmar Protests

Myanmar’s military has imposed martial law across more districts around the country following the deadliest day of protests since February’s coup. About 50 people were reported killed when troops and police opened fire on protesters in various areas on Sunday. Most deaths were in Yangon. Protesters are demanding the release of ousted civilian leader Aung San Kyi. She heads the National League for Democracy (NLD) which saw a landslide victory in elections last November. The military detained most of the NLD leadership after the coup, alleging voter fraud. No proof has been provided.

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