Royal Bank of Scotland grew into one of the world’s biggest banking groups through aggressive acquisitions, but overstretched itself when it tried to buy Dutch banking giant ABN Amro in 2007. The British government pumped 45 billion pounds (US$73 billion) into RBS to keep it afloat in 2008, leaving it 82 per cent state-owned. As of November 2012, the taxpayer faced a loss of 19 billion pounds on the investment.

A customer walks into a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland building in London. The bank is paying a settlement for mis-selling mortgage backed securities in the US going back to the global financial crisis. Photo: AFP

Royal Bank of Scotland settles cases from 2008 global crisis

Royal Bank of Scotland said on Wednesday it has reached a US$5.5 billion settlement in the United States over the mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis, a key milestone in the institution’s efforts to put its past sins behind it.