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Saturday 23 August 2014

Rate-rigging after bailout revealed

Published 06/02/2013 | 04:16

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RBS is likely to announce a settlement with the Financial Services Authority and American regulators

Bribery and rate-rigging took place at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) even after it was bailed out by the taxpayer, regulators have revealed, as they fined the banking giant £391 million.

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Stephen Hester, chief executive of RBS, said he would stay to "finish the job" at the bank despite damning evidence from US and UK authorities over the bank's role in the Libor scandal, dating back to 2006 and continuing through to late 2010 - when investigations had already begun.

RBS, which is 81% owned by the Government, will recoup around £300 million from its staff bonus pool and clawing back previous awards to pay for the fines.

While Mr Hester and chairman Sir Philip Hampton have been spared the axe, RBS said investment banking boss John Hourican would step down, forfeiting around £9 million in bonuses and long-term incentive shares.

Chancellor George Osborne condemned the "totally unacceptable" behaviour at RBS and said it was right that the "banks, not the taxpayers, will pick up the bill".

RBS said 21 staff were involved in attempting to manipulate interbank lending rates - specifically Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc Libor submissions - from 2006 to as recently as November 2010.

Six staff have been dismissed, including two managers, while six have been severely disciplined or are going through a disciplinary process. Another eight left the organisation before disciplinary action could be taken and one was dismissed for misconduct not related to these findings, said RBS.

Sir Philip said it was a "sad day for RBS" but vowed to "put right the mistakes of the past".

RBS is now the third bank to have been fined for attempting to rig Libor after Barclays agreed a £290 million settlement last year, followed in December by Swiss bank UBS, which was hit with nearly £1 billion of penalties.

Under its settlement, RBS will pay £87.5 million to the FSA, 325 million US dollars (£207.7 million) to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and 150 million US dollars (£95.8 million) to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Press Association

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