Gov­ern­ment pock­ets £150m in RBS’s first div­i­dend since bailout

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

THE GOV­ERN­MENT has pock­eted £150m as Royal Bank of Scot­land paid the first div­i­dend since its £45bn bailout a decade ago.

The bank yes­ter­day paid out a to­tal of £240m to around 190,000 or­di­nary share­hold­ers in­clud­ing UK Gov­ern­ment In­vest­ments, which man­ages the Gov­ern­ment’s 62 per cent stake in the lender.

RBS an­nounced the 2p per share in­terim div­i­dend in Au­gust af­ter reach­ing a 4.9bn US dollar (£3.7bn) set­tle­ment with US au­thor­i­ties over claims that it mis­sold mort­gages in the run-up to the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

The share­holder pay­out comes al­most 10 years to the day since the bank re­ceived the first tranche of a Gov­ern­ment res­cue pack­age at the height of the bank­ing crash on Oc­to­ber 13 2008.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Ross McEwan said: “I’m pleased to be able to pay a div­i­dend to our share­hold­ers; a small re­turn af­ter their many years of pa­tience and a tes­ta­ment to the hard work of ev­ery­one at this bank.

“This is an­other im­por­tant mile­stone in our turn­around, al­most 10 years to the day that RBS was res­cued by the Bri­tish tax­payer.

“We have cre­ated a smaller, safer bank that is gen­er­at­ing more sus­tain­able prof­its.

“Our cap­i­tal po­si­tion is above our tar­get and we are also look­ing to re­turn any ex­cess cap­i­tal as soon as pos­si­ble to share­hold­ers.”

But while the div­i­dend was wel­comed by the Trea­sury, the Gov­ern­ment is un­likely to ever re­coup the cash it stumped up for RBS dur­ing the bailout.

The Gov­ern­ment ear­lier this year sold a 7.7 per cent stake in RBS at a £2.1bn loss to the UK tax­payer. The sale of around 925m shares brought the pub­lic hold­ing in RBS down from 70.1 per cent to 62.4 per cent.

He said the div­i­dend was an im­por­tant mile­stone for the com­pany.

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