Three RBS bosses buy shares in firm for £1m

Ewen Stevenson

Royal Bank of Scotland said its three top bosses spent almost £1 million buying shares in the company just three days after it reported a 2015 loss of £1.98 billion, its eighth successive annual loss.

RBS said chief executive Ross McEwan and finance director Ewen Stevenson each bought 200,000 shares at £2.23, spending £446,000 each.

And chairman Howard Davies bought 40,000 shares at £2.22 at a cost of £88,800.

RBS shares closed down another 1.1% at around £2.24 on Monday. The shares have fallen from about £3.80 one year ago.

On Friday, RBS announced its losses as litigation and restructuring costs continued to hurt the company’s finances.

Excluding the litigation, conduct, restructuring and other costs, RBS actually made pre-tax operating profit in 2015 of £4.4 billion compared to £6.1 billion in 2014.

The bank said it still plans to return excess capital to shareholders through dividends or buybacks, subject to board and regulatory approval — but this will now happen later than many investors had hoped.

And RBS warned that while work continues on the divestment of its Williams & Glyn branch network, this will now not be achieved until after the first quarter of 2017.

RBS was rescued in a roughly £45 billion state bailout during the global financial crisis and is still 73% owned by the UK government.