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Battle with Goodwin in court

Sir Angus poised to join RBS legal action

Sir Angus Grossart
Sir Angus Grossart: (photo by Terry Murden – DB Media Services)

Financier and Souter to fight bank

Sir Angus Grossart, a former vice chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, and transport tycoon Sir Brian Souter are poised to join a legal battle over the controversial £12 billion rights issue launched before it collapsed.

They are thought to be among 1,000 new complainants lodging an action alongside 27,000 private and institutional investors led by law firm Signature Litigation who are suing RBS, former CEO Fred Goodwin and other former directors.

Shareholders claim RBS misled them over its financial health when it sought the cash in 2008 in order to finance its joint and ill-fated bid for the Dutch bank ABN Amro.

Four other investor groups have already settled with the bank over the rights issue. If the Signature Litigation group does not follow suit, the case will go to court in May and Mr Goodwin is likely to take the stand.

Sir Brian Souter (photo by Terry Murden)

In early December RBS set aside £800m to cover the claims, which were seeking over £4bn.

The bank said it had reached a “full and final settlement” with three of the five groups representing 77% of shareholders and hoped the remaining claimants will accept the offer.

Sir Angus has once described himself as a “good friend” of Mr Goodwin and believed he was made a scapegoat when the bank had to be rescued by the taxpayer.

An RBS spokesman said: “RBS’s consistent position has been that shareholders that have issued claims after the June 2014 limitation date are not eligible to claim and that it will defend all such claims on that basis.”

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