The UK Treasury has held “secret” talks with US officials aimed at speeding up a multibillion pound fine for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) that would finally draw a line under misconduct before it was bailed out by the taxpayer for £45.5 billion during the last financial crisis, according to a Sky News report.
UK finance minister Philip Hammond has signalled that any further sale of the public’s remaining 71% stake in RBS is contingent upon the US fine being announced.
Officials from the Treasury were due to discuss earlier this week the progress of settlement negotiations between RBS and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over the mis-selling of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) by RBS under the watch of former CEO Fred Goodwin, the report said.
The discussions are aimed at speeding up a final penalty for the bank — which some analysts predict could be higher than £5 billion, the report said.
The Treasury’s intervention could lead to a deal with the DoJ being agreed within weeks, although the timing remains uncertain.