Prosecutors from the Crown Office have announced that former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) bosses will not face criminal charges in connection with the sale of shares in the bank in the months leading up to its collapse. They had been investigating the bank’s decision to carry out a rights issue in 2008, which was an invitation to existing shareholders to purchase its reserve following the £49bn purchase of Dutch bank ABN Amro.
However, just months after the RBS announced it wanted to raise £12bn to shore up its reserves following the purchase, the value of RBS shares plummeted and the bank had to be bailed out by the Government, at a cost to the taxpayer of £45bn. The Crown Office investigation was launched following a report by the then Financial Services Authority in December 2011.
In a statement this week, the Crown Office said the investigation had been “extremely complex” and included the examination of over 160,000 documents by a team of specialist forensic accountants and banking experts.
It said that the investigation had involved close co-operation with a range of financial regulators and banking institutions, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Reporting Council.
Any forensic accountant or investigator gathers evidence from every possible source and arrives at the conclusions they do based on facts, not surmise. In many cases, the investigators conclude, as in this case, that there is insufficient evidence to mount a case, which is why a forensic investigation is vital if there are any allegations of wrongdoing.
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