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Investors accept bank's offer

Goodwin poised to escape trial over share issue

Fred Goodwin
Fred Goodwin: avoids court

Fred Goodwin is expected to avoid a potentially humiliating court appearance after the remaining shareholders suing the bank accepted an offer to settle their claim.

The 9,000-strong member of the RBS Shareholders Action Group will share £200m in compensation, equal to 82p a share, almost double the original offer made by bank.

Mr Justice Hildyard will now decide whether proceedings should continue when the case returns to court on Thursday.

It is understood some shareholders were holding out for 92p a share in compensation for losses they suffered when they invested in the bank’s £12 billion rights issue in 2008. Shareholders claimed they were misled about the bank’s finances at the time the issue was declared.

In a letter, the group said: “Having carefully considered the merits of the current offer… we have decided to accept the offer of 82 pence per share on behalf of our membership.”

It added: “This is a decision which is fully supported by our legal advisers.”

The case was due to start on 22 May and had been scheduled to last for 14 weeks. Former chief executive Goodwin was due to give evidence on 8 and 9 June. Sir Tom McKillop, former chairman at the time of the share issue, was also due to appear.

The bank and former directors have denied any wrongdoing and has already settled the majority of claims over the issue, without admitting liability.

Comment: Deal will not ease anger of 2008

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