“U.S. authorities are pushing for a settlement of interest-rate-rigging allegations with Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC that would result in a unit of the big British bank pleading guilty to criminal charges in addition to paying a penalty, according to people briefed on the negotiations.
“RBS executives are resisting any guilty plea, fearful that it could lead clients to cut off activity with the bank and that it could increase exposure to costly litigation, some of these people said. The negotiations reflect a newly tough stance by U.S. authorities, who until recently have faced criticism for rarely pursuing criminal action against big banks.
“The settlement is likely to include roughly £500 million ($790 million) in penalties levied by U.S. and British authorities, although the exact amount remains in flux, these people said. The deal, under negotiation since last fall, could be completed within the next two weeks.”
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