RBS Chief McEwan hopes to resolve Justice Department case in 2018

Branded signs are seen outside a branch of RBS bank in Nottingham, Britain, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L hopes to reach a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over alleged mis-selling of toxic mortgage-backed securities this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday, although it has no news on the timing of any deal.

“I’ve got the timing of this completely wrong for the last 15 months, I thought we would’ve had it tidied by end-2017... all I’d say (is) it will be in hopefully in 2018,” Ross McEwan said at the Morgan Stanley European Financials conference in London.

The expected multi-billion-dollar settlement would be a key milestone for the state-owned lender, allowing it to resume paying dividends to shareholders and paving the way for the British government to resume selling its shares in the lender.

Reporting By Lawrence White and Emma Rumney; editing by Simon Jessop