RBS Libor Fine Could Be £300m, Two Executives Under Pressure To Resign

The London inter bank offer rate (Libor) rigging scandal continues into 2013, with reports that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is close to negotiating a fine with the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

According to several media sites on Friday, the fine is expected to be bigger than Barclays at £290m but smaller than UBS's at £940m. The figure of £300m has been suggested in several quarters.

In addition, John Hourican, head of RBS's investment bank, and Peter Nielson, head of markets, are believed to be “under pressure” to step down.

The FT reports that although there is no suggestion either had involvement in the Libor affair, executives have suggested the pair may be forced to bear responsibility for the abuses perpetrated by more junior bankers. Chief executive Stephen Hester's job is understood to be safe.

The Telegraph reports Hourican and Nielson were "stunned"and "let down" by the developments, described by one insider as "political convenience for the relentless baying of blood from regulators"

The settlement, due within the next three weeks after Hester said late last year that he hoped RBS would reach a deal by the time it reports its 2012 profit figures at the end of February, will make RBS the third bank to have settled a Libor claim, with UBS settling for $1.5 billion (£944m) in December 2012 and Barclays fined £290m in June 2012.

Four former top bankers at UBS appeared before the banking standards commission on Thursday. Andrew Tyrie, the Tory MP who chairs the commission, said the former board members' level of ignorance over Libor-rigging was "staggering to the point of incredulity" and accused the four of "gross negligence" and "being out their depth".

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