RBS’ outgoing chairman said today that the bank did “not anticipate” the £10bn of fines it’s been handed in recent years.
At the bank’s annual general meeting today, Sir Philip Hampton, who is due to bow out as its chairman, said the regulatory fines, litigation charges and customer redress were completely unexpected.
“The scale of the conduct issues faced by RBS has markedly reduced our ability to retain earnings, delaying our capital re-build and directly reducing shareholder value,” he said.
The bank and many of its European counterparts have been hit with billions of pounds’ worth of penalties by regulators in both the UK and the US.
He added that bailout conditions imposed on RBS by the European Commission had “reduced the long-term capital build, especially the ability of the business to generate capital from operations”.
Summing the six years since he joined the bank’s board, Hampton turned to Charles Dickens.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…
“In 2009 RBS was the largest bank in the world by assets, active in 53 countries and with almost 200,00 employees,” he added.
“The RBS of today is very different from the bank of 2009.”
Last night the bank said new chairman Sir Howard Davies will not join the board until the publication of a report from the Airports Commission, which he chairs.