RBS chairman says sorry

25-11-2008

RBS chairman says sorry
Royal Bank of Scotland's chairman has apologised to shareholders before they vote to accept the government's recapitalisation offer and the connected rights issue.

In a general meeting in Edinburgh today, the chairman Sir Tom McKillop said sorry for the problems that led to the near downfall of the bank.

"Personally and in the office I hold, I am profoundly sorry," Sir Tom said.

The shareholders are voting on the £20 billion plan for the government to buy into the bank – through taking £5 billion of preference shares and underwriting a rights issue of £15 million of ordinary shares.

It means the government could own 60 per cent of the bank, which revealed last week that it could cut as many as 3,000 jobs.

Sir Tom also denied the rights issue and need to recapitalise was due to the bank overstretching itself to as a part of the consortium that bought ABN Amro.

However, he admitted the bank's position was weakened by the deal.

RBS warned recently it was heading to its first annual loss in its history.

The firm has also warned RBS cannot pay dividends on its ordinary shares until the preference shares issued to the Treasury are no longer in issue, or unless otherwise agreed by Treasury.

At 15:53 GMT the RBS share price rose 9.22 per cent to 46.20p. A year ago it was worth 513.50p.

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