RBS faces pressure to establish investor committee

Shareholders say their aim is to improve representation of investors in how the bank is run

Royal Bank of Scotland shares have fallen more than 95% since their peak in 2007

Royal Bank of Scotland shares have fallen more than 95% since their peak in 2007

 

More than 160 investors in Royal Bank of Scotland have asked the bank to create a committee of shareholders to improve its corporate governance and help avoid a repeat of mistakes that led to its £45 billion (€52.6bn) bailout.

ShareSoc and UKSA, two shareholder groups, will submit the proposal at the bank’s next annual meeting in May, with the aim of improving the lot of long-term investors who have seen RBS shares fall more than 95 per cent since their 2007 peak.

The shareholders said their aims were to improve the representation of individual retail investors in how the bank is run and to avoid a repeat of past mistakes.

“A dominant CEO; concealing the true financial position of the company from investors; proceeding with a reckless acquisition; and then publishing a rights prospectus which concealed the problems faced by the company,” Mark Northway, Sharesoc chairman, said in describing those mistakes.

RBS could not immediately be reached for comment.

For the resolution to pass it will need at least 75 per cent of shareholder votes cast at the meeting. That means the government, which holds 71 per cent of shares in the bank, would need to support it or abstain for it to go through.

A spokesman for UKFI, which manages the government stake, declined to comment on how UKFI might vote. – Bloomberg