Wednesday 30 May 2012 8:08 pm

Investors may never recoup losses, says RBS

THE chairman of RBS yesterday admitted to investors they would not recoup the losses from its collapse in their lifetime. “I don’t believe that shareholders’ wealth is likely to be restored any time in my lifetime or some lifetimes beyond,” chairman Sir Philip Hampton said at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting. Hampton was responding to one elderly shareholder who said he had lost “thousands of pounds”. Hampton insisted yesterday that the bank needed freedom to execute its five-year recovery plan without excessive interference and vowed to restore dividend payments to help pave the way for a sale of the government’s stake. Hampton said the bank would look to start paying dividends again “as soon as possible,” although most analysts consider such a move to be unlikely until 2015 at the earliest. “Very few things would give me more pleasure than to return RBS to the dividend list because of all the other things it would say about the business,” he said. RBS’s pay proposals were backed by 99.31 per cent of investors. The overwhelming support was largely a formality due to UK Financial Investments’ support. UKFI manages the government’s stake and has 67 per cent of the voting rights.

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