The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) provides banking and insurance services. The UK Government owns 84% of the bank through UK Financial Investments Limited (which also own Northern Rock and 41% of the Royal Bank of Scotland). The bank is still listed on the London Stock Exchange.
RBS is the worlds largest company in terms of assets controlled (read this FT report for more on this). It is the largest bank in Scotland and in terms of market capitalisation is the 5th largest bank in the world.
RBS is the result of a series of mergers and takeovers which started in earnest in the 1960’s. In 1969 the National Commercial Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland merged. In 2000 RBS took over NatWest. In 2007 RBS took over ABN Amro.
Over the years RBS has fought off many takeover bids such as offers from Lloyds Bank in 1979, a proposed merger from the Standard Chartered Bank in 1980 and HSBC which put in a rival bid. The Bank of England opposed the HSBC bid and the RBS board rejected the offers.
The Blue Monday Crash
The financial crisis of 2008-2009 resulted in the RBS arranging an emergency rights issue to raise £12 billion to cover write-downs of around £5.9 billion. However, this did not save the bank and in October 2008 the British Government proposed a rescue package (bailout) of RBS.
As a part of the bailout of British banks The Treasury invested £37 billion into RBS, Lloyds and HBOS. Overall in 2008 RBS lost around £24.1 billion in wrote downs, the largest loss ever made by UK business. On Monday, 19 January 2009 shares in British banks crashed, the crash was led by RBS which lost 67% of is value. This is now known as the Blue Monday Crash.
RBS Shareholder Information
RBS’ registrar is Computershare: www-uk.computershare.com.
RBS usually holds its annual general meeting in April.
RBS Dividend Information
RBS is no longer paying dividends as it is focusing on raising capital. You can find historic dividend information on their shareholder information pages: www.investors.rbs.com/dividends