Beleaguered Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders will voice their fury after a catastrophic year for the bank at its annual meeting today.
RBS has posted the biggest UK loss in corporate history – £24.1bn (€26.35bn) – and is now majority-owned by the UK taxpayer after a £20bn (€21.9bn) bailout last October.
The British taxpayer’s 70% share will be formally confirmed at a separate meeting today, although this may rise as high as 95% after a deal to dump more than £300bn (€328bn) in “toxic” assets into a taxpayer-backed insurance scheme.
For normal investors, the business of the meeting is all but irrelevant as the major decisions have already been taken by UK Financial Investments, the body which manages the public stakes in the bank.
At today’s annual meeting in Edinburgh, shareholders will have the chance, however, to voice their anger at the dilution of their stake and question the current management team on the progress made in repairing the damage.
This was caused by bad debt charges of £7bn (€7.65bn) and a £16.2bn (€17.7bn) writedown on its disastrous acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007 and its US operations.
Earlier this week, UKFI said it would register a protest vote against former chief executive Fred Goodwin’s hugely controversial £703,000 (£768,500) pension at the meeting.