Royal Bank of Scotland trial: Judge orders another adjournment for settlement talks

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The Royal Bank of Scotland trial was due to begin on Monday (Source: Getty)

The Royal Bank of Scotland trial has been delayed again for further settlement talks.

Mr Justice Hildyard this morning ordered an adjournment until 7 June but said he would require a progress report on Thursday morning, Press Association reported from the court.

The judge also said the parties would need to inform him by next Thursday, 1 June, whether a settlement has been reached.

The 14-week trial, brought by thousands of shareholders who feel they were misled by the bank ahead of a £12bn rights issue in 2008, was due to begin on Monday.

Read more: RBS shareholders split over settlement offer in rights issue lawsuit

Jonathan Nash QC, for the claimants, told the court: “I am pleased to report that the progress towards a settlement remains good.

“We remain hopeful it will be possible to reach a final compromise of the claims made in these proceedings.”

He was speaking after reports overnight suggested the 9,000 claimants were split over whether to accept the offer.

The 14-week trial, which would see former chief executive Fred Goodwin take to the stand, was due to begin on Monday, but was adjourned for 24 hours to allow for settlement talks.

The judge granted a further 24-hour delay yesterday to allow the lender and claimants to thrash out a deal.

Read more: RBS and lawsuit claimants work on settlement

The bank is understood to have offered investors 82p per share as a settlement. This is around double the amount offered to previous claimants who have settled their cases.

The court was told this time yesterday that a majority of claimants were willing to accept the latest offer from RBS. Nash told the court then: “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 legal action was started by around 27,000 investors. This figure has been whittled down to 9,000 by RBS in recent months.

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