RBS pays first dividend since financial crisis

RBS pays first dividend since financial crisis

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has paid its first dividend since it was rescued from collapse ten years ago. 

The dividend is worth around £240 million to 190,000 shareholders including the state vehicle UK Government Investments (UKGI).

“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,” said chief executive, Ross McEwan.

“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,” he added.

The bank is still 62% owned by the government, which bought a £45 billion stake in the group when it was on the brink of collapse. 

The government began selling shares in the bank earlier this year and reduced its holding from over 80% to 62%. Shares were sold below the 502p-a-share price, the price the government originally bought the stake.

“I would love it if we could sell the shares at a much higher price. Obviously, that is what everyone would like to do, but we need to be realistic and look at the market conditions,” said Treasury Economic Secretary John Glen on the reduction in price.

On Friday morning, campaigners stood at the RBS branch in Angel, North London and gave passers-by a card that read: “10 years since the global financial crash, happy anniversary” on its front. Inside, it said: “10 years on and none the wiser! A decade on and you haven’t changed a bit! How come you still look exactly the same?”

Shares in RBS (LON: RBS) are trading up 1.97% at 249,00 (1252GMT).