"Diehard" RBS investors want more time to find legal funding as they battle to keep trial hopes alive

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

Thousands of “diehard” investors suing Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) want a High Court judge to give them more time to find legal funding, sources close to the process have told City A.M.

While a section of claimants, including institutional investors, is ready to accept a settlement offer from RBS, a large number of retail shareholders are fighting to keep their trial hopes alive.

Sources say 63 per cent of the 9,000 investors are not ready to settle and want to ask the judge for more time to find funding. It is not clear whether they have made an official submission.

Separately, the group has requested a meeting with RBS chief executive Ross McEwan.

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

They are keen to push ahead to a trial, during which former RBS executives such as Fred Goodwin would appear in court, or reach a higher settlement offer than the 82p per share currently on the table.

However, with the bigger investors – including, crucially, Trevor Hemmings, who was funding a large part of the action – having accepted the offer, the remaining shareholders need to find extra funds of £7m.

Sources told City A.M. the 63 per cent has raised around half of the £7m and wants more time to find extra funds.

Mr Justice Hildyard had set a deadline for today for RBS and the shareholder action group to let him know whether a settlement has been agreed.

The group wrote to the investors it represents last weekend telling them it will accept the 82p offer.

For this decision to be binding, the group needs acceptance from 70 per cent of claimants by value of the £520m High Court claim. It is unclear at this stage whether this threshold has been reached.

Read more: New adjournment for crucial RBS hearing

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