Crown: ‘insufficient evidence’ for RBS prosecution

Fred Goodwin

The Crown Office said on Thursday there was “insufficient evidence in law of criminal conduct” surrounding a £12 billion Royal Bank of Scotland sale of shares in April to June of 2008 — shortly before the bank’s collapse — for a prosecution to take place.

The Crown Office said more than 160,000 documents were examined by a team of specialist forensic accountants and banking experts, supervised by the Serious and Organised Crime Division.

“If any further evidence comes to light which is relevant to this enquiry it will be considered by the Crown and we reserve the right to make further enquiry, if considered appropriate,” the Crown Office added.

A Crown Office spokesperson said the Crown undertook a thorough, independent investigation following publication of a FSA (now FCA) report on the issue in December 2011.

“The Crown’s investigation focussed on the rights issue of April – June 2008, and involved detailed consideration of whether there was any evidence of criminal conduct associated with the rights issue.

“If there were such evidence those responsible would face prosecution.

“If not, the public in Scotland could be reassured that the matter had been properly investigated.

“This was an extremely complex investigation which included the examination of over 160,000 documents by a team of specialist forensic accountants and banking experts, supervised by the Serious and Organised Crime Division.

“The investigation involved close co-operation with a range of financial regulators and banking institutions, including the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Reporting Council.

“Following careful examination of all the evidence seen to date, Crown Counsel have decided that there is insufficient evidence in law of criminal conduct either in relation to RBS as an institution or any directors or other senior management involved in the rights issue.

“If any further evidence comes to light which is relevant to this enquiry it will be considered by the Crown and we reserve the right to make further enquiry, if considered appropriate.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.