RBS to issue new securities

Steve Dinneen
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ROYAL Bank of Scotland (RBS) yesterday marked the clearest sign yet that the UK banking sector is emerging from the financial crisis.

The banking giant will issue £4.7bn of securities backed by mortgages in the first move of its kind since the onset of the financial crisis.

The issuance is a vital step for the economic recovery as it allows banks to take loans off their balance sheets, freeing up capital for new lending.

It also shows the bank is confident that investor appetite for mortgage-backed securities
has increased. The market – in which loans are bundled together into new bonds, secured by their repayments – was devastated by the sub-prime crisis in the US.

RBS was particularly tarnished as it relied heavily on securitisation markets prior to its near-collapse, when the government was forced to buy-up an 84 per cent stake in the bank.

But as the government prepares to cut back its interest in the bank, it is desperate to exploit new funding streams. It must hike its supply of loans by the end of the year if it is to meet government targets.

The bank also announced yesterday it has sold £1.3bn of five-year global senior unsecured notes. The 3.95 per cent notes were priced at 99.973 to yield 250 basis points over US Treasuries.