It seems that the major players in the RBS Action Group have accepted the latest RBS offer. See http://files.constantcontact.com/2fe662f5101/de78446f-b327-4d5e-9eee-5fcd584c7e8c.pdf
This has, in effect, enabled RBS to bully the small individual shareholders into also accepting the settlement. I say “bully” because RBS are threatening anyone who pursues the case to risk having costs awarded against them.
So now the case will be settled. No-one will be found guilty. RBS will pay out £800 million (of shareholders’ money) to a group of its shareholders without admitting any culpability or liability. It all gets swept neatly under the carpet and no one goes to jail. It has taken 9 years for this to happen. It is not just RBS – the HBOS Reading trial took nearly ten years to be investigated and brought to court.
The key players do not come out of this well. Something is wrong with the SFO, CPS, FCA, FRC, BEIS, etc when £12 billion of RBS’ shareholders’ money raised in a rights issue can disappear so quickly.
Very, very few people in the UK have gone to jail as a result of their actions that led to the 2007/08 Financial Crisis, yet millions of people have suffered severe hardship as a result. The SFO, Crown Prosecution Service and/or BEIS should be given more resources and told to pursue problem cases much more speedily. Companies should not be allowed to hide behind expensive lawyers. The whole process of settlements where management admit no blame and shareholders pay the fines/settlement amounts mean management get off scot free and also needs a review. These steps (plus others no doubt) are required to rebuild trust in business and to tackle what Mrs May calls the “anything goes” business culture.