Royal Bank of Scotland cleared of wrongdoing by FSA

RBS logo
Image caption RBS was bailed out by the government during the financial crisis

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the years running up to the financial crisis by the UK's financial watchdog.

After completing an investigation which began in May 2009, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said RBS had made "a series of bad decisions".

However, these had not been the result of any "lack of integrity", it said.

RBS is 84%-owned by the government after it was bailed out during the financial crisis.

It has been criticised for over-stretching itself in the takeover of ABN Amro bank in 2007.

The takeover, as well as the bank's "aggressive expansion" into investment banking, was singled out by the FSA as a bad call.

However, the authority said it and other bad decisions "were not the result of any lack of integrity by any individual and we did not identify any instances of fraud or dishonest activity by senior individuals or a failure of governance on part of the board".

Former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin was singled out for criticism at the time for his role in RBS's downfall.

He was heavily criticised for what many saw as over-generous pension arrangements as part of his severance package, although he subsequently agreed to reduce them.

The FSA said it would be taking no enforcement action as a result of the investigation, either against the firm or against individuals.

However, it said the competence of any RBS individuals would be taken into account when making applications to any FSA-regulated firms.

The regulator added that investigations into other banks were continuing.

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