RBS close to settlement over its fine for Libor


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The Independent Online

Royal Bank of Scotland is entering the final round of negotiations with regulators over its role in the Libor-rigging scandal and the scale of fine it can expect following Barclays' £290m settlement.

Chief executive Stephen Hester said he would be "disappointed" if RBS had not reached a settlement by the time of its full-year results in February. He added: "It is very hard to guess at the scale of the fine because I don't know what the charge sheet is. But even if it were to be less than Barclays' it will still be a very miserable day in the history of RBS."

While RBS's main regulator is the Financial Services Authority, it is also in talks with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the US Department of Justice (Fraud Division) and regulators in Europe and Asia.

It said it had dismissed "a number of employees" over Libor but would not say how many.

RBS, which is still 80 per cent owned by the taxpayer, also increased the amount it has set aside to compensate customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance by £400m, to £1.7bn.

Finance director Bruce van Saun said: "All of the banks have been guilty of underestimating the response rate from their customers."

That extra charge helped to push RBS to a pre-tax loss of £1.3bn against a profit of £2bn a year ago. But at the core operating profit level, the "new" bank, there was a 67 per cent rise in profits to £1.6bn.

This was driven by better profits in retail and investment banking but there was a decline in corporate profits.