RBS bill for past bad behaviour hits staggering £4bn

RBS' bill for past bad behaviour has soared over £4 billion following today's fine. Photo: PA Wire

Today's fine for RBS pushes the bill for past bad behaviour over an enormous £4 billion - a staggering amount of cash for the bank we all own to have to cough up.

It's not enough to make life impossible for the bank, fines have been paid for over recent years rather a big hit all at once.

But take out PPI, and the last couple of years the bill alone is just shy of a billion. And the total represents more than a tenth of the value of all the company's shares put together as they're valued today.

They were fined along with seven other banks today - Barclays only avoided a much bigger fine of some £600 million by blowing the whistle on the others. UBS avoided more than £2 billion for doing the same - it clearly pays to spill the beans. But for RBS today's £324 million pushes up an extraordinary tally. Their rivals have faced similar charges, but with RBS owned by us, it is a particular challenge.

On top of today's payout, in the last couple of years they have been fined £390 million for fixing the Libor interest rate, around £14 million for various complaint handling, selling and reporting complaints. They've had to pay out £175 million after last year's IT glitch. There's been another £95 million to the US authorities for mistakes in the sub-prime mortgage market. They've also had to pay out £2.65 billion in PPI compensation, and allocate another £750 million to businesses who were mis-sold 'swaps', products a bit like insurance policies.

And what's more - this probably isn't the end of it. They're under investigation like other banks for fiddling the foreign exchange markets, by the US authorities over mortgages, and they've promised to compensate customers hit by this week's latest computer glitch.

There is also the possibility of compensation to small businesses who've been mistreated depending on what is discovered in the wake of the Tomlinson review which made very serious allegations of fraud - those are denied by the bank.

The bank is a very long way from giving us our money back, with privatisation still far in the future. But as the bill for past mistakes climbs ever higher, that perhaps puts the date even further back.