Treasury ‘in US talks to speed up £5bn RBS fine’

Fred Goodwin

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.