IN-DEPTH EU REVIEW
RBS plan to offset aid probed
Failure to reach a deal could result in measures, including the full repayment of state aid the bank received in the crisis
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Britain’s largest taxpayer-owned bank, faces an in-depth EU review into whether a new plan to satisfy the conditions of its bailout is equivalent to selling its Williams & Glyn unit. The alternative plan, which includes the bank helping to fund its competitors in small-business lending, contains "novel behavioural measures, the effect of which is difficult to quantify", the European Commission said on Tuesday. The regulator said interested third parties had one month to submit comments. RBS failed to sell Williams & Glyn, which was required as part of its 2009 bailout to increase competition in lending to small-and medium-sized enterprises, amid issues in separating the unit’s technology platform. Instead, the UK offered an alternative package in February that has an estimated upfront cost for RBS of about £750m and forces the bank to help its rivals poach clients. "We can only accept this proposal if it has the same positive effect on competition as th...