RBS is now expected to pay almost double the fine for Libor fiddling that its UK rival Barclays faced, as the bank and regulators close in on a final settlement deal.
The state-backed institution is in last-minute talks to bash out a settlement, as it seeks to put the scandal behind it before its full years results in February.
The payment to US regulators and the Financial Services Authority is likely to come in at around £500m – above the £290m paid by Barclays but well below the $1.5bn (£934m) charge levied on Swiss bank UBS.
It is also thought to be considering chopping some senior staff, not because they were involved in the market manipulation but because it needs to show angry customers and politicians that heads have rolled in response to the scandal.
John Hourican, who heads the investment bank, and markets boss Peter Nielsen are considered likely to leave because they were senior when the wrongdoing took place – unlike chief executive Stephen Hester.
Barclays’ chief Bob Diamond and chairman Marcus Agius left their bank in the aftermath of its punishment for market fiddling.
But Hester was brought in to clean up the bank after its bail out and can include this crisis as another legacy issue that he is dealing with.