HM Treasury

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115/09

07 December 2009

Treasury publishes details of Asset Protection Scheme

The Treasury has today published its final agreement with the Royal Bank of Scotland on the bank’s participation in the Asset Protection Scheme, along with further detail of the scheme’s operation and the assets it covers.

The Treasury has also announced the launch of the Asset Protection Agency that will administer the scheme in order to protect the taxpayer’s interest.

Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury Paul Myners said:

“The Government’s decisive action to stabilise the financial system has succeeded in protecting the savings of British families.  We have strived throughout our interventions to ensure maximum value for the taxpayer, charging commercial rates for our support for the banks and making supported firms pick up the tab for extra operating costs.

“The agreement we have reached with RBS follows this approach.  This final agreement sees a much-improved position for the taxpayer compared to the initial deal announced in February.  RBS will bear a much greater share of the burden, with the first loss increasing by £18bn.  The bank will also pay the full operational costs of the Asset Protection Agency.

“Together with the exit of Lloyds from the APS, taxpayer exposure to bank losses has been markedly reduced.  With this agreement entering into force with State Aid approval expected soon, our focus can turn to reforming the financial system for the future, both with greater competition on the High Street, and stronger global and domestic regulation.”

The Government announced final agreements with Lloyds and RBS on 3 November.  Lloyds has proceeded with plans to raise capital on the markets and RBS signed its agreement on participation in the APS on 26 November.  Discretionary cash bonuses for staff earning above £39,000 have been banned at both banks for the 2009 performance year and binding lending agreements have been implemented as conditions of Government support.

The European Commission has also required both banks to make significant divestments including hundreds of branches throughout the country to encourage greater competition and choice for consumers. 

Notes for editors

1. The Government’s agreement with RBS, scheme rules, and asset details can be found on the HM Treasury website.

2. The creation of the Asset Protection Scheme was announced on 19 January.  RBS reached an agreement in principle with RBS on 26 February and with Lloyds on 7 March.

3. The agreement released today is subject to shareholder approval and State Aid approval from the European Commission.

4. Questions about the operation of the Asset Protection Agency should be directed to Tom Poston (Tel: +44 (0) 207 074 1824) or Matt O’Leary (Tel:+44 (0) 207 074 1819) at Kreab Gavin Anderson.

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on 020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk

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