Showing posts with label Royal Bank of Scotland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal Bank of Scotland. Show all posts

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Banksters at RBS

The crimes of Royal Bank of Scotland as described on this website.

UK: PPI mis-selling - Estimated liability: £2.65 billion
RBS has set aside £2.65 billion in provisions to cover the cost of compensating customers to whom it mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). This often redundant product was highly lucrative for the banks but was useless to many of the people who bought it. The bank now has 1,800 staff working full-time on PPI redress. It threw an additional £250 million into the compensation pot on Friday.

UK: Rights issue class action - Liability: up to £13 billion
The bank is fighting the UK’s largest ever class action case in the High Court. The suit comes from 13,000 RBS investors who allege that the bank duped them into putting £12.3 billion into a rights issue in April 2008. On 30 July, the RBoS Shareholders Action Group was ordered to amalgamate its £4.3 billion claim with those of two other investor groups. A QC’s opinion last year found that asset-management firms that bought into the rights issues that fail to participate in the action could risk being sued by investors. The bank said: “RBS considers its has substantial and credible legal and factual defences to these claims.”

UK: Card and identity protection insurance - Estimated liability: £200 million (based on RBS’s market share)
The bank misled customers into buying insurance for their credit cards and identity theft insurance from London-based Card Protection Plan. On 22 August, the FCA declared that CPP and RBS, alongside 12 other banks and credit card issuers, had agreed to a £1.3 billion compensation scheme.

UK and Ireland: IT meltdown - Estimated liability: up to £300 million
On 19 June 2012, RBS suffered one of the worst IT meltdowns in banking history, with millions of customers locked out of their accounts for days and customer transactions going awry. The bank has promised to reimburse customers for any losses they suffered and paid out £175 million in 2012. The incident is also the subject of regulatory inquiries in both the UK and Ireland, and RBS may also face claims for damages through the courts.

UK: “Systemic abuse” in restructuring and recovery - Estimated liability: up to £5 billion
Allegations of “systemic institutionalised fraud” in RBS’s recovery and restructuring division (West Register and Global Restructuring Group) are being investigated by a number of civil and criminal UK authorities. Lawrence Tomlinson, chairman of Leeds-based LNT Group and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, alleges: “This is a massive scandal. It’s about the bank creating situations that put people into a corner where it can hit them with outrageous fees and transformed into zombie companies.” He is providing 300-400 case studies to business secretary Vince Cable.

UK: Interest rate swaps mis-selling - Liability: up to £1.5 billion (if FCA fines RBS)
In February, RBS booked a £750 million provision to cover compensation for small businesses to which it mis-sold interest-rated hedging products, a figure that experts believe may be too low. After initially denying it had done anything wrong, the bank now says it will provide “fair and reasonable redress” to eligible customers under a redress scheme agreed with the FCA. Speaking on the BBC’s Panorama last month, FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley warned the regulator may also fine banks involved in the scandal.

EU: Credit default swaps anti-competitive behaviour - Estimated liability: unknown
EU cartel-busters are investigating RBS’s role in the credit default swap (CDS) market and handed the bank a statement of objections in July. The EC has raised concerns that a number of banks, plus data provider Markit and industry group the International Swaps and Derivatives Association may have jointly blocked exchanges from entering the CDS market. RBS said: “At this stage, the RBS group cannot estimate reliably what effect the outcome of the investigation may have on the group, which may be material.”

Singapore: Benchmark rigging - Estimated liability: £500 million-£600 million
RBS was one of 20 banks penalised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore in June for rigging Sibor (the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate) and other benchmarks between 2007 and 2011. RBS has set aside additional statutory reserves with MAS of Singapore $1 billion-$1.2bn (£500 million-£600m) and has been forced to improve its systems and controls in Singapore.

US: SEC “Wells” notice for ­defective residential mortgage-backed securities - Estimated liability: unknown
The US Securities and Exchange Commission slapped a “Wells” notice on RBS on 28 March, giving notice of its intention to sue. The suit relates to allegedly faulty mortgage-backed securities dating from 2007. The SEC started its probe in September 2010, when it asked RBS for information concerning residential mortgage-backed securities underwritten by US subsidiaries of RBS in the period September 2006 to July 2007.

US: Defective mortgage bond issuance - Estimated liability: $4 billion-$6 billion
RBS, through Greenwich Capital, sold $32 billion of allegedly defective mortgage-backed securities to American state-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is suing RBS over these the bonds. The FHFA alleges that RBS routinely breached mortgage-lending rules and bullied surveyors into inflating property valuations. Overall, RBS is being sued for $91bn of mortgage-backed securities and has been named as defendant in 45 lawsuits related to mortgage-backed securities.

US: Weak anti-money-laundering controls - Estimated liability: up to $1.5 billion
On 27 July 2011, RBS was hit with a cease-and-desist order by the US Federal Reserve over violations of money-laundering laws. This required RBS to improve risk management and compliance to ensure does not get used as “washing machine” for the laundering of funds for countries subject to US economic blockade, such as Iran. RBS is “continuing to co-operate” with inquiries led by the Department of Justice and has “conducted disciplinary proceedings against a number of employees”.

US: Mortgages – loan repurchases and indemnities - Estimated liabilities: $750 million
When bundling mortgages into mortgage-backed securities, the bank’s M&IB arm (formerly GBM) and Citizens asked issuers of the underlying mortgages to provide certain warranties. In instances where issuers refused, M&IB tended to issue the “representations and warranties” itself. In such cases, the bank is liable to repurchase the bonds or else “indemnify certain parties against losses”. Between early 2009 and June 2013, RBS received $741 million in repurchase demands, which it is striving to resist. The bank said: “The volume of repurchase demands is increasing and is expected to continue to increase.”

US: Credit default swaps anti-competitive behaviour - Estimated liability: unknown
In May and August 2013, RBS and other banks were sued in anti-trust class action suits filed in courts in Illinois and New York state. The complaints allege that RBS broke competition law in the market for credit default swaps, driving up bid-offer spreads. The bank admits the cases could lead to “investigatory or other action being taken by governmental and regulatory authorities” and could have a “material adverse effect” on RBS group.

US: Other allegedly faulty securitisations - Estimated liability: unknown
In January 2011, the SEC launched a formal inquiry into inadequate documentation relating to RBS’s US mortgage securitisations. This followed subpoenas in 2007 of several players in the US securitisation industry, focusing on information underwriters obtained from independent firms that performed due diligence on underlying loans. RBS gave relevant documentation to the New York attorney general in 2008. RBS said: “The investigation is ongoing and the RBS Group continues to provide the requested information.”

Global: Libor - Estimated liability: RBS already fined £390 million; the ultimate cost could be as high as £80 billion
On 6 February, the US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the UK’s Financial Services Authority fined RBS $612m (£390m) fine for rigging Libor, the benchmark interbank interest rate. Other banks and brokers penalised for similar offences include Barclays, UBS and Rabobank. RBS faces further penalties from the EU and Canadian Competition Bureau, plus civil claims from US investors, the most recent of which came from mortgage giant Fannie Mae last Thursday. Analyst Sandy Chen has said if there was just 0.05% mispricing in interbank rates over four years – less than the 0.4% some class action lawsuits allege – RBS faces possible damages of £80bn.

Global: ISDAfix - Estimated liability: unknown
Multiple agencies and regulators around the world are investigating RBS for possible rigging of IDSAfix, a benchmark used in the interest rate swaps market. America’s CFTC is examining about one million emails and phone call recordings related to the alleged manipulation, involving traders from RBS and more than ten other global banks and brokerages.

Global: FX market rigging - Estimated liability: unknown
On Thursday it emerged that two of RBS’s currency traders have been suspended as part of an inquiry by global regulators into suspected manipulation of foreign exchange markets. The regulators, which include the UK Financial Conduct Authority, America’s FBI and Switzerland’s FINMA suspect that global banks including RBS colluded to manipulate exchange rates in the global, $5.3 trillion a day, foreign exchange markets. RBS has provided the FCA with e-chats that a former senior RBS dealer – Richard “Dick” Usher who left the bank in 2010 – had with traders at other banks. The traders’ group was variously known as “The Bandits” and “The Cartel”.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Golden Parachute

After five years as boss of Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester has announced plans to step down. Hester will leave later this year and will receive 12 months' pay and benefits worth £1.6 million and the potential for a £4 million shares windfall from a long-term incentive scheme.

Bank staff union Unite’s national officer Dominic said “With over 30,000 job losses over the last five years and major stress for RBS staff there is likely to be a lot of anger over Stephen Hestor's tax-payer funded multi-million pound exit package.”

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Thieves Den

"Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

It has been described as the biggest banking fraud in history yet no-one has been prosecuted for the Libor fixing scandal. The financial rewards of rigging rates were, and are, immense. For example RBS’s rates, currencies and commodities group — the one where Libor rigging and other forms of market manipulation are believed to be commonplace — saw its income rise by 87% in the half year to June 2008, at a time when the overall income RBS Global Banking and Markets fell 10%. Royal Bank of Scotland admitted that between 2006 and 2010 staff based in London, Singapore, Tokyo and the US conspired to manipulate the global financial benchmark, the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) calculated in both Swiss Francs and Japanese Yen. By pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud in its Japanese arm, RBS managed to avoid having its US operations shut down by the US Department of Justice.  Libor is a global benchmark used to price some $300 trillion of contracts, ranging from mortgages to student loans to interest-rate swaps, calculated by averaging out submissions from up to 40 global banks.  Two other global banks have reached settlements along similar lines over Libor crimes. UBS was fined $1.5 billion (£950m) in December, and Barclays was fined $451m (£287m) in June 2012. A further 20 or so global banks are have yet to reach settlements. In the UK they are thought to include Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC.

“This is the biggest scandal, the biggest anti-trust felony, in the history of the world, and it continued for years,”
said Bill Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a world leading expert on financial crime. “Even after the investigation became public knowledge, the felony continued, and it continued with greater efforts being made to cover it up, with people being instructed to no longer to use instant messages and such like in order to make it harder for the regulators What is most stunning is that these traders and submitters were willing to say these things, knowing that there was a verbatim record being kept. What does that tell you not just about the institution itself, but also about the FSA and the Serious Fraud Office? That is the one of the most important and revealing fact that comes out of this. The perception inside the bank was ‘we don’t need to worry about those clowns’.” He added "The bank is too big to prosecute, it’s too big to run honestly... it’s created catastrophic harm to the British people. RBS holds the British economy and the British people hostage."

Since being found out by regulators, RBS’s strategy has been to blame junior and middle-ranking people for the scandal, claiming that no one at the top of the bank knew it was going on. This is surprising, given that in September 2007, the Financial Times’s Gillian Tett highlighted concerns that Libor was “a bit of a fiction” [FT 25 September 2007], and that in April 2008 the British Bankers’ Association sent a memo to ‘panel’ banks including RBS asking them to check their Libor submission processes and ensure they were “submitting honest rates” after the Wall Street Journal’s Carrick Mollenkamp highlighted “growing suspicions about Libor’s veracity” [WSJ 16 April 2008]. Some RBS traders who have been dismissed for Libor rigging argue that they are being used as scapegoats, claiming that their superiors  ‘condoned collusion’. Tan Chi Min, RBS’s ex-head of Japanese Yen interest-rate trading, declared that Libor rigging was a well-known and common practice at the bank in 2006-11. The FSA said that, in March 2011, RBS misled the regulator, indicating that it had put proper systems and controls in place when it had not.

Many believe the government and  authorities are being too soft on financial crimes, seeing mollycoddling miscreant financial institutions that it majority owns as more important than seeking justice. The fact that RBS’s share price rose on the day of its settlement suggests investors believe it got off lightly.  Neil Barofsky, former special inspector-general of the Troubled Asset Relief Programme and author of Bailout, said: "...each settlement on favourable terms reinforces the perception that, for a select group of executives and institutions, crime pays. It is only rational. They know that they will get to keep all of the ill-gotten profits if they go undetected, and on the small chance that they’re caught, most probably only the shareholders will pay – and only a relatively minor fine at that. The lack of meaningful consequences for those committing these frauds encourages future fraudulent conduct."

Adapted from here

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

worth every penny?

Sir Philip Hampton, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, asserts that its cheif executive, Stephen Hester,  is only “modestly paid” - at £7.8 million a year. “Stephen is doing one of the most difficult, demanding and challenging jobs in world business. He has been paid well below the market rate compared to others in the same job.” Hampton explained.

Hester’s £7.8m package is made up of a basic salary of £1.2m, plus a maximum annual bonus of £2.4m and a further £4.2m that can be earned through the bank’s long term incentive schemes.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Capital's apologists

Blair Jenkins, chief executive of the Yes Scotland campaign, claimed that Scotland “might very well not have had a financial crisis” if it had been an independent country. This is a ridiculous claim. Some commentators have argued that, if Scotland had been independent, the banks would have been better regulated. The Scottish equivalent of the FSA would have stopped them from pursuing self-destructive courses, barred them from ballooning their balance sheets with dodgy loans and toxic assets, and insisted on higher capital ratios. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that it would have been any different.

The idea that Scotland’s banks – RBS and HBOS, whose combined assets were 21 times Scotland’s gross domestic product at the time of their near collapse (for the sake of comparison, Irish banks’ assets were 4.4 times Irish GDP at point of their October 2008 collapse, and Icelandic banks‘ assets were 9.8 times times Icelandic GDP) – would have been better-regulated if Scotland had been independent is wide of the mark. It is preposterous to suggest the liabilities of a bank are liabilities of the population of the country where the head office of that bank is located. It cost the UK £70bn to recapitalise the Scottish banks. 

Alex Salmond thought the UK authorities and the FSA in particular, were being too tough on the banks in 2007. He felt Scotland would be better off with ‘lighter touch’ regulation. “We are pledging a light-touch regulation suitable to a Scottish financial sector with its outstanding reputation for probity, as opposed to one like that in the UK, which absorbs huge amounts of management time in ‘gold-plated’ regulation." he said in an interview with the Times on April 7th, 2007. Salmond wrote to Fred Goodwin when the latter was RBS chief executive, in May 2007 wishing Goodwin ‘good luck’ with his attempted €72 billion takeover of the Dutch Bank ABN Amro adding ‘it is in the Scottish interests for RBS to be successful’. The takeover is now recognised as one of the most disastrous in corporate history and contributed to the massive losses which caused RBS to fail and require a £45.5bn government funded bailout.

On March 31, 2008 when it was already clear to many investors and analysts that RBS and HBOS had massive holes in their balance sheets and were struggling to fund themselves, Salmond insisted that, with RBS and HBOS, “Scotland has global leaders today, tomorrow and for the long-term” in a speech given to Harvard University selling Scotland as another Celtic Tiger (but a Lion) economy like Ireland. On August 7th, 2008, the day it announced massive first-half losses of £692m, and a few weeks after it had had to tap investors for £12bn to patch up its balance sheet, Salmond told The Times that RBS was “one of the highest-performing financial institutions in the world” which would soon “overcome current challenges to become both highly profitable and highly successful once again”. On September 17th, 2008, Salmond describes the banks as "well capitalised, properly funded financial institutions" ignoring the fundamental problems and the bankers' irresponsibility.

So if the referendum bring change - little will change. Scottish politicians and Scottish parliament will continue to be the servants of capital. 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

bankers cash in

Royal Bank of Scotland investment banking boss John Hourican pocketed £4.7 million yesterday as he exercised lucrative share options in the bank – after helping push through thousands of redundancies in the division last year.
Hourican’s sale of 17.6 million shares after exercising share options, at an average price of about 27p, comes after RBS’s global banking and markets division has made some 5,000 people redundant. This has been with the encouragement of the UK government as RBS has scaled back its investment banking activities to focus on UK lending. Recently, it emerged that Hourican received a total pay and awards package, including bonuses, of about £7.5m last year.

It came on the same day that Toby Strauss – insurance chief at Lloyds Banking Group, sold 1.2 million shares worth more than £380,000.

Monday, January 30, 2012

workers shares - a share in losses

For Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland workers, the chance to buy discounted shares in their employer seemed a no-lose deal. Schemes such as the Sharekicker plan at HBOS, which allowed employees to buy the bank’s shares with their bonuses and get 50 per cent more free shares after three years.

In December 2007, the HBOS share price was 741.5p. A year later, after its takeover by Lloyds, it had plunged by more than 90 per cent to 69p, giving thousands of employees who had taken up the Sharekicker plan not only their jobs to worry about, but their savings.

Many staff were confident of prosperity-laden future of their employer and invested much of their cash back into the very company they worked for. The tragedy is that when things went pear-shaped, many lost both their jobs and their savings.

The Deputy Prime Minister talked of a democratic share ownership culture. A lot of bank workers can be forgiven for feeling cynical towards Nick Clegg’s proposal for employees to have a universal right to ask for company shares.

How much say in the running of HBOS, RBS and Northern Rock did the thousands of employees who owned shares in those firms have? Not even 100 per cent take-up would give a workforce sufficient ownership to earn a voice loud enough to be heard. Groups of individual shareholders can’t come close to the ownership held by pension schemes and other institutional investors, who have been found badly wanting as far as accountability is concerned.

Monday, December 26, 2011

There are bankers and then there are bank staff

While investment bankers collect hundreds of thousands of pounds each year in salary and bonuses, front-line branch staff are more modestly paid, with starting salaries typically around £14,000 a year.

One Lloyds insider said: “It’s always the people on the ground who suffer. You could earn more working in Asda..."

Cashiers at the high street lender earn commission by referring clients to sales staff, who talk them through the options for mortgages, savings accounts and other products. But the bank has not only cut the commission from £2 to 60 pence as part of a clampdown on costs, and it has increased the target for each cashier from 72 referrals every three months to 77.

Monday, August 29, 2011

banking on repression

The 84% state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland faces damaging revelations about its ethical record after it emerged that the bank was part of a deal to issue more than $800m (£489m) in Belarusian government bonds earlier this year, a month after the country's leader, Alexander Lukashenko, ordered the brutal repression of pro-democracy campaigners. In Belarus, hundreds of opposition activists were arrested and many of those who stood against Mr Lukashenko in last December's disputed elections have since been thrown in jail after a series of show trials that have been condemned by international observers. Many pro-democracy groups have urged Western businesses to shun the regime until their demands for reform are met.

RBS is the only British bank to have recently done financial deals directly with the Belarusian government. The scandal of raising bonds for Belarus, a country with by far the worst human rights record in Europe, cannot be described as a one-off lapse of judgement on the bank's part. The bank's apologists, no doubt, will claim that it has done nothing illegal because the government of Belarus is not under international sanctions, apart from a feeble EU travel ban placed on top officials.

Natalia Koliada, from Free Belarus Now, said: "When British businesses invest in Belarus, or RBS sells their government's bonds, it helps support an authoritarian regime."

Full details here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

sharing the pain?

In 2006 Andy Hornby was appointed chief executive of HBOS. One analyst wrote in a City circular: "Andy Hornby is a superstar." He was said to have been devastated by the collapse of HBOS in 2008. But within nine months he was back with Alliance Boots. He was the highest paid member of the Alliance Boots' board, with a pay package of £2.4 million which included £750,000 of bonuses, plus bene-fits and pension supplements. But he quit Boots after less than two years in charge, stating that he needed to step back from corporate life. Executive chairman Stefano Pessina said that Hornby was stressed and required a break. At the time the company said he would not receive a pay-off but the annual report revealed he received a £450,000 cheque to stop him joining a rival healthcare group.

Hornby is back in another top job - the head of the bookmaker chain Coral. He joined Gala Coral Group as chief executive with the job of reviving the bookmaking arm of the gambling company. He will take control over 1,670 shops as well as online and telephone betting services.

So from the stock market casino to the bookies, Hornby gambles on and while we lose , he wins.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Banking crisis - who pays the price ?

“I get up in the morning crying and go to bed crying.You go in to work and you hope you won’t tear up. But somebody does, nearly every day.” The problem? Fear, says Jane. “We are all scared. We are all afraid of getting paid off. Maybe because of the way the building is, the fear just seems to move across the room. But they are disciplining us for everything, including clerical errors and timekeeping.” The building is open-plan. “When someone cracks up, we all see it,” she explains. “You’ll hear the sobbing and see her pals huddle around her." Middle managers, she keeps stressing, are just as scared as their employees.

Jim McCourt, who runs the Inverclyde Advice and Employment Rights Centre, says he has seen a lot of stressed-out RBS workers since 2008. "I have been doing this job for 15 years and I have never seen any company that is so unnecessarily brutal.”

From the Herald

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We always said bankers were *ankers

When giving evidence to the Treasury Committee on 10 February, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, Sir Fred Goodwin said: "My pension is the same as everyone else in the bank who is in a defined benefit pension scheme. It is determined in the same way as anyone else."

It emerged that Sir Fred is drawing a pension of £650,000 a year. Although he is only 50, he is entitled to the payment for life, with a pension pot worth £16 million.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced the largest annual loss in UK corporate history. RBS, which had to be bailed out by the government last year, said that its 2008 loss totalled £24.1bn ($34.2bn). Reports had suggested job losses could total 20,000.

Sir Fred's strategy and decision to buy ABN Amro is widely seen as making the bank more vulnerable to the credit crunch and having to be bailed out. The bulk of the losses came as RBS made a £16.2bn write-down on poorly performing assets, mainly resulting from its 2007 takeover of ABN Amro.

Yes , indeed , a well-deserved pension and well-earned luxury for life while all those sacked will struggle on the dole to pay the bills and pay the mortgage but unlike the belated grumblings of Chancellor Darling , Socialist Courier was reporting and condemning Goodwin's feather -bedding way back in August 2007 and October 2007 and March 2008 .

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bankers still rake it in

Fred Goodwin regained his place as the highest-paid executive at Royal Bank of Scotland last year after taking home £4.2 million. Goodwin's pay package was up 5% from 2006 with a basic salary of £1.3m and a performance bonus of £2.9m. He also earned extra pension rights worth £772,000 in the course of the year and netted a paper profit of £1.2m after exercising cut-price options on nearly 500,000 shares under a performance scheme. Goodwin's pay package made him the best-paid of Royal Bank's executives. It could have been higher but he missed out on 286,579 shares that could have been awarded under a medium-term performance plan from 2005 as the company failed to meet targets.

Mike Fisher, who has gone to manage Royal Bank's portion of the ABN Amro business took home £2.4m in pay and bonuses, up 24% on 2006. Finance director Guy Whittaker who benefited last year from major pay-outs to compensate him for his move from Citigroup in 2006. In 2007, he received £3.35m in pay. Larry Fish, who ran the bank's US subsidiary Citizens Financial, also fell back in the pay stakes. He netted £6.6m in 2006 but in 20007 had to make do with around £2m in pay and bonuses.

In these times of financial troubles and credit crunch , isn't it good to see how those bankers are suffering hardship and sharing the woes with all us who are facing increased debt and higher bills .

For a socialist analysis of the present American capitialist crisis see Bubble Trouble

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

For those who have too much

Royal Bank of Scotland has awarded millions of potentially lucrative share options to top executives under a controversial new bonus plan a report in The Herald says .

Chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin, head of corporate markets Johnny Cameron, and Larry Fish, head of US subsidiary Citizens, are among the major beneficiaries. The scheme could see executives including Goodwin gain three times their basic salary - which in his case would amount to £3.6 million. Goodwin was granted options over nearly 700,000 shares. Cameron was granted options over 374,332 shares and Fish over 523,640 shares. Finance director Guy Whittaker and retail markets chief Gordon Pell also received big awards.

RBS announced to the stock market yesterday that it had granted options to 15 senior executives which will vest between 2010 and 2017 at an exercise price of 561p, a level which some might view as low by recent standards. RBS shares closed up 1.5p at 577p last night, but were until recently trading well above £6. RBS did not respond to a request for comment on how it had arrived at the apparently low exercise price.