RBS trial adjourned after it tables last-minute settlement offer with investors

 
Rebecca Smith
RBS boss Ross McEwan is said to have been involved in the offer over the weekend
RBS boss Ross McEwan is said to have been involved in the offer over the weekend (Source: Getty)

Today's Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) trial regarding a group of investors left out of pocket over the bank's 2008 rights issue has been adjourned for 24 hours to enable settlement discussions to continue.

It comes after reports emerged that the bank had tried to reach a last minute settlement with the investors. Sky News first reported that RBS almost doubled its settlement offer to the remaining shareholders to around 82p per share.

A £125m trial was due to get underway in the capital today, with 9,000 claimants in the civil trial saying they were misled about the true state of the bank's finances when it issued a prospectus for a £12bn rights issue in April 2008.

Read more: Will Fred be shredded in court as investors take on RBS over rights issue?

Months after the call, the government was forced to bail out RBS with £45.5bn of taxpayers' money.

RBS has settled with the majority of investors who originally brought the case, but a group have so far turned down the bank's offers, intending to go to court.

Sources familiar with the case told Reuters that RBS chief executive Ross McEwan had been involved in negotiations over the weekend and the bank had made shareholders an offer in excess of 80p for each RBS share they had.

According to Sky News, it was unclear this morning, just hours before the trial was due to get started, whether the settlement offer will be accepted.

The proposal marks the latest effort by RBS to avoid the matter being played out in public.

The investors affected by the events are seeking compensation of more than £800m for their loss. RBS denies it is liable.

If the case progresses, it will also see Fred Goodwin, who was stripped of his knighthood over his role in the bank's collapse, take the stand. He is due to give evidence on 8 June marking the first time he will have given a full account of the crisis at the bank.

Read more: Investors face D-Day in RBS case

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