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RBS takes $500m hit on US mortgage securities

The announcement, by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, was made ahead of what is expected to be a much larger deal with the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Sources told Sky News last Friday that the state-backed lender was “within weeks” of agreeing a multi-billion dollar sum with federal officials, in a settlement that would pave the way for the sale of the taxpayers’ majority stake to resume.

The penalties relate to the sale of retail mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

RBS takes $500m hit on US mortgage securities
RBS takes $500m hit on US mortgage securities

Mr Schneiderman said RBS admitted to having sold investors RMBS that did not meet underwriting guidelines, contrary to its representations, and did not comply with applicable laws and regulations.

RBS remains majority-owned by the taxpayer

Video:RBS: Symbolic moment after bank ‘lost its way’

He said the settlement involved a $100m cash payment to the state, plus $400m for consumer relief for homeowners and communities.

The bank is desperate to put legacy conduct issues behind it though delays helped RBS report its first annual profit for a decade last month.

The bank warned then that 2018’s financial performance, and its ability to resume dividend payments for the first time since its £45.5bn bailout, would be affected by the unresolved DoJ case.

It has set aside roughly $3.5bn to cover the expected fine.

The bank was yet to comment on the New York settlement.

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