LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has tried to reach a last-minute settlement with a group of investors who allege that the lender misled them over a 2008 capital increase, according to two people familiar with the matter.
A civil trial brought by thousands of RBS investors is due to open on Monday, with the plaintiffs alleging that the bank’s former executives gave a misleading picture of RBS’s financial health ahead of a 12 billion pound ($15.5 billion) cash call in 2008. Months after the cash call, RBS had to be rescued by the government with a 45.8 billion pound bailout.
RBS has already settled with 87 percent of investors who originally brought the case, but an outstanding group have so far rejected the bank’s offers and said they were determined to go to court.
Sources familiar with the case said that RBS Chief Executive Ross McEwan was directly involved in negotiations over the weekend and that the bank had made the shareholders an offer in excess of 80 pence for each RBS share they held.
RBS declined to comment on the settlement offer.
A spokesman for the shareholder action group said he was not immediately able to comment.
The sources said that it is not clear if all or any of the investors have agreed to accept the offer.
RBS, which remains more than 70 percent state-owned, denies any wrongdoing over the 2008 rights issue and says that its former bosses did not act illegally.
Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Lawrence White; Writing by Rachel Armstrong; Editing by David Goodman