RBS leaves programme and moves a step closer to private ownership
Asset Protection SchemeRoyal Bank of Scotland has agreed to leave the UK’s Asset Protection Scheme after paying £2.5 billion to the government to insure its most risky assets.
Britain’s biggest taxpayer-owned bank was in 2009 the only lender to join the programme, which covered potential losses on £282 billion of loans and derivatives. RBS never had to draw on the policy, for which it paid the government a fee, and has reduced the amount of loans protected to £105 billion, the Edinburgh-based bank said in a statement yesterday.
Leaving the scheme removes another obstacle to the lender’s return to private ownership. Chief executive Stephen Hester has cut assets by more than £800 billion, eliminated about 36,000 jobs and scaled back RBS’s securities and Ulster Bank units since he took over from Fred Goodwin when the bank was rescued in 2008. – (Bloomberg)