RBS in advanced talks over resuming dividends: FT

Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:15pm EDT

A man walks past a Royal Bank of Scotland building in central London January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

A man walks past a Royal Bank of Scotland building in central London January 28, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

(Reuters) - State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) is in advanced talks with the British government to buy back a "golden share," which would enable the lender to resume paying dividends, the Financial Times reported.

RBS, which is 81 percent-owned by Britain's government after being bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis, has deferred its annual general meeting to the end of June because of the talks, the FT said, without citing sources. (link.reuters.com/nym67v)

It added that delaying the meeting would allow talks possibly to conclude before the shareholder vote. Any deal would have to be approved by the non-government-owned minority shareholders.

Through the terms of the bailout, the government acquired a dividend access share (DAS) in RBS, giving the state rights to an enhanced dividend and making the bank less attractive to private investors.

RBS, once the world's largest bank, has been in talks with the government and the European Commission since last year to free itself from the DAS.

The bank could not be reached for comment outside of regular business hours.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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