It is unlikely the Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Ross McEwan expected positive results announced in April, to quell the anger among a significant body of shareholders.
This anger is expected to be clear Wednesday at the annual meeting of the company in Edinburgh, when a vote is expected on the establishment of a new Committee of shareholders, to give investors power over the level of remuneration of top managers.
More than 140 investors supported to insist on a special resolution, which calls for the establishment of the Committee, and it may be down to the government about what is happening or not.
The resolution needed 75 percent support of the government, UK financial investments, has 71% of the shares. The vote will be the culmination of a 20-year campaign for better interaction with shareholders ShareSoc and the UK shareholders Association (UKSA), who argued that the establishment of the Committee will help to avoid the mistakes that led to a £45.5 billion of state aid 10 years ago.
Of course, this is not the only issue, which is expected to be raised at the meeting on Wednesday – another key point is whether the government will sell its stake in the Bank, and when. RBS has agreed a £3.6 billion penalty to the US justice Department to finish investigation into sales of financial products in the run-up to the financial crisis. This clears the way for the government to sell their shares. It is planned to sell £15 billion shares, or two-thirds of its stake in the £3 billion tranches by 2022-23. The taxpayer is sitting on a loss of about $ 26 billion after the bailout of RBS during the financial crisis.
It is also likely that this is the report from the financial conduct authority (FCA), indicating the “shameful” treatment of struggling small businesses, who came to RBS to receive financial aid as a result of the banking crisis. The full report was released by the Treasury Committee in February after a confrontation with the FCA, which has just published the edited version.
The document detailed the “widespread mistreatment” of small businesses, global Bank restructuring (GRG). The authors of the report found that 16% of the companies they analyzed that were still viable when they entered GRG likely suffered “significant financial distress” because of his treatment of them. While RBS “not an engineer” financial difficulties, he said the Bank was “conflict of interest”, with staff encouraged to give priority to the extraction of fees and the so-called “foot tools” to increase the profit, and not after the needs of small firms.
And then there is the question of branch closures and that some shareholders at the meeting on Wednesday will even have access to a local Bank. Earlier this month, RBS intends to close 162 branches in England and Wales in the summer with the loss of almost 800 jobs, the result of a deal with the EU last year, which meant that the Edinburgh Bank will no longer have to sell 300 branches. The EU has demanded from the sale to boost competition, as a condition of the RBS bailout of the taxpayer.
So McEwan has released a series of probing questions in Edinburgh on Wednesday, but probably pointing to the positive results of the Bank. Profit more than tripled in the first three months of 2018, easily beating expectations as revenues grew and costs declined.
How much these results to appease shareholders remains to be seen.