By Simon Miller
Royal Bank of Scotland is nearing agreement to settle over its role in the Libor-setting scandal according to reports.
The part-state-owned bank is expected to agree to a settlement with US and UK authorities within the next two months.
Sources told news agency Reuters that RBS was working towards a settlement early in the fourth quarters with lawyers saying the government was keen to protect the value of its stake by removing uncertainties over the issue.
"They are state-owned, they are under more pressure than most to deal with this," said a London-based lawyer connected to Libor cases.
More than a dozen banks are currently under investigation by regulators around the globe with Barclays being the first to settle over the issue paying £290m to US and UK authorities.
Member of the Treasury Select Committee John Mann warned that RBS could receive a harsher penalty than Barclays.
"That's what I'm hearing. The suggestions being made are that RBS was more chaotic than Barclays, the whole way they were operating and, therefore, whatever was being done, RBS was doing it more crudely," he told Reuters on Friday.
RBS is currently contesting a wrongful dismissal suit in Singapore where former trader for the bank, Tan Chi Min, alleges that the practice of traders making requests to the bank's rate setters was well known by RBS management.