It appears that despite a new administration running the ship in Washington, D.C., the federal government still plans to seek restitution for the events that led to the financial crisis, or at least that’s what one foreign bank thinks.
In the last week or so, the outgoing Obama administration announced multi-billion dollar settlements with two foreign banks, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, for each bank’s crisis-era mortgage securitization practices.
Now, it appears that Royal Bank of Scotland believes it is closer to its own multi-billion settlement with the government, as the bank is setting aside $3.8 billion to be used to settle with the government.
Bloomberg has the details:
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc rose the most in two months in London trading after the bank took a 3.1 billion-pound ($3.8 billion) charge in a step toward resolving a U.S. probe into sales of mortgage securities.
The lender is continuing to cooperate with the U.S. Department of Justice on its investigation, though timing of a settlement remains uncertain, the Edinburgh-based bank said on Thursday. RBS has now taken 6.7 billion pounds of provisions related to as many as 15 mortgage investigations and lawsuits, and said it may face further charges.
Based on rough calculations, the 6.7 billion pounds that RBS set aside is equal to $8.4 billion.
If RBS’ settlement ends up in the neighborhood of $8 billion, it will be significantly less than originally thought, as, last year at this time, reports placed the price tag for RBS’ settlement at as much as $13 billion.
But in a call with reporters, RBS executives said that the bank is not actually in active negotiations with the government over the prospective settlement.
Again from Bloomberg:
Although the lender’s board was able to make the fresh provision based on other European banks’ settlements, Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson said RBS isn’t yet in any active negotiations with the Justice Department. McEwan said he wouldn’t speculate on whether changes in the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump may change the tone of any talks or delay the process.
“We’re keen to resolve this as quick as we can,” McEwan said on the call with reporters. “We’ll work constructively with the appropriate authorities whoever they are.”
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