(Adds claimant statement, source material)
By Kirstin Ridley and Anjuli Davies
LONDON, April 27 Royal Bank of Scotland
has reached an out-of-court settlement with another batch of
shareholders who alleged they were misled during a 12
billion-pound ($15.5 billion) cash call in 2008, the state-owned
bank said on Thursday.
The latest settlement, which follows a similar deal struck
with four other investor groups last year, leaves a rump party
of investors claiming damages of around 520 million pounds,
excluding interest and costs, weeks before a trial is scheduled,
one source familiar with talks said.
The deal has splintered the vast RBoS Shareholder Action
Group, with 40 percent of the value of the original claimants
"We are pleased that some members of our group have been
able to come to an agreement with the bank," said the
shareholder group, which still represents around 27,000 retail
investors and around 20 institutions.
"However, we remain resolute in our fight for justice for
retail shareholders and the numerous institutions that remain in
this litigation," said the group, which represents thousands of
current and former RBS shareholders.
Shareholders lost around 80 percent of their investment
after buying into RBS's rights issue as the credit crisis raged
in 2008, shortly before the bank almost collapsed and received a
45 billion-pound government bailout.
Edinburgh-based RBS said it had now reached a full and final
settlement with shareholders representing 87 percent of the
original claims by value in the litigation - without any
admission of liability.
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement," Ross
McEwan, chief executive of RBS said in a statement.
"We will continue to explore the possibility of settlement
with the remaining claimants but if we cannot settle on
agreeable terms we will defend the claims at trial."
RBS last year set aside 800 million pounds to settle
investor claims totalling around 4 billion pounds from five
investor groups in an unprecedented lawsuit over alleged
omissions and misrepresentations about its financial strength
when it launched the rights issue during the credit crisis.
After four groups settled the bank nudged up a 41.5 pence
per share offer to 43.5 pence per share in March in the hope of
avoiding a trial that will rake over the facts of its near
collapse and state bailout and call former CEO Fred Goodwin to
One source said the RBoS Action Group members who settled
their case on Thursday had accepted the 43.5p per share offer.
($1 = 0.7756 pounds)
(Additional reporting by Lawrence White, Editing by Rachel
Armstrong, Greg Mahlich)