RBS and lawsuit claimants work on settlement

William Turvill
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RBS is understood to have offered claimants 82p per share (Source: Getty)

Royal Bank of Scotland was locked in talks with claimants last night as the lender fights to avoid a high-profile court battle.

The High Court judge yesterday granted a second 24-hour adjournment to allow settlement talks between the bank and investors to continue.

The court was told yesterday morning that most claimants are willing to accept the latest offer and there was a good chance of a deal being struck.

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

“The present position is that the majority of claimants have indicated their willingness to accept the latest offer from the defendant,” Jonathan Nash QC, for the claimants, told the court.

“There now appears to be a good prospect that within the course of today the remaining claimants, or nearly all, will confirm they will also agree in principle so as to bring a practical end to the proceedings.”

The hotly-anticipated trial, which could see former RBS chief executive Fred Goodwin take the stand, was due to begin on Monday and last for 14 weeks.

Mr Justice Hildyard granted a 24-hour adjournment on Monday morning and then another yesterday morning to allow for settlement talks.

Read more: RBS shares rise as it returns to profit for the first time in 18 months

RBS is understood to have offered claimants 82p per share, nearly double the payout given to other investors whose cases have been settled.

An original group of 27,000 investors was suing the lender over a £12bn rights issue in 2008, which came shortly before RBS had to be bailed out by the taxpayer. The investors claim they were misled on the financial state of the bank.

The number of claimants has been whittled down in recent months, and is currently down to a group of 9,000 shareholders, including around 20 institutional investors.

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