RBS braced for Libor fines
Royal Bank of Scotland faces fines for its part in a global interest rate rigging scandal and wants to reach a settlement as soon as possible.
US and UK authorities are investigating the part-nationalised bank over how it set Libor and other interest rates and it is expected to be one of the next to settle after British rival Barclays was fined $450 million in June.
RBS expects to start talks on a settlement soon, which is likely to result in financial penalties, the bank said today it published third quarter results.
Chief executive Stephen Hester said the timing of a settlement was in the hands of regulators. "We are up for settling with all and every one as soon as they are ready."
Mr Hester said it was difficult to assess whether RBS would be hit with a bigger fine than Barclays, the only bank to settle so far. More than a dozen banks are under investigation by authorities in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Even if a fine was smaller than Barclays' penalty it would still be a "miserable day" for RBS, he said. "It is a deeply regrettable thing....this is the sort of thing the industry has to put behind it."
Mr Hester expected details of a settlement to emerge between now and the bank's full year results next February.
"I'd be disappointed if we were talking to you at our full year results in February without having had more news but it's not under my control."
RBS has dismissed a number of employees for misconduct after its own investigations into interest rate setting.
Libor and other past mistakes are threatening to overshadow Mr Hester's attempts to turn the bank around, which he said would be complete in the next 15-18 months.