Prosecutors rule out criminal charges over near collapse of RBS


An investigation into the near collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has found "insufficient evidence" to press criminal charges against any individuals, the Crown Office has said.

Prosecutors in Scotland have been investigating the bank, which came close to collapse at the height of the financial crisis, for five years.

A statement from the Crown Office said: "The Crown's investigation focused on the rights issue of April to June 2008, and involved detailed consideration of whether there was any evidence of criminal conduct associated with the rights issue.

"Following careful examination of all the evidence seen to date, Crown counsel have decided that there is insufficient evidence in law of criminal conduct either in relation to RBS as an institution or any directors or other senior management involved in the rights issue.

"If any further evidence comes to light which is relevant to this inquiry it will be considered by the Crown and we reserve the right to make further inquiry, if considered appropriate."

A spokesman for the Crown Office said it had been an "extremely complex investigation", including examining more than 160,000 documents by a team of specialist forensic accountants and banking experts, supervised by the Serious and Organised Crime Division.

Close co-operation with a range of financial regulators and banking institutions, including the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Reporting Council, was also involved in the probe.

He added: "The failure of RBS is an issue of great public concern. The Crown undertook a thorough, independent investigation following publication of the FSA (now FCA) report in December 2011."