Former RBS vice-chair among group looking to join lawsuit over rights issue

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Sir Angus Grossart, a former vice chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, is among hundreds of shareholders seeking to be part of a high-profile lawsuit brought against RBS over its £12bn rights issue at the height of the financial crisis.

Five separate groups of claimants filed a £4bn lawsuit in 2013 against RBS over allegations it misled them into signing up to the multi-billion-pound offer months before the bank’s near-collapse in 2008.

RBS settled the legal action late last year with four of the five claimant groups, leaving one outstanding claim by a group of around 27,000 retail and institutional shareholders represented by law firm Signature Litigation.

The shareholders alleged the prospectus for the rights issue contained untrue or misleading statements about the bank’s financial position. They are suing the bank as well as former directors, including disgraced former chief executive Fred Goodwin.

RBS denies the allegations and is defending the case, which is due to come to trial in May.

Another group of hundreds of shareholders are now seeking to join the legal action. Court records show a part 7 claim was filed by Sir Angus Grossart and others at the High Court on Thursday. Sir Angus Grossart, an Edinburgh merchant banker and one of the most influential figures in the Scottish financial establishment, stepped down as vice-chairman of RBS in 2005.

RBS said in a statement: “RBS’s consistent position has been that shareholders that have issued claims after the June 2014 limitation date are not eligible to claim and that it will defend all such claims on that basis.”

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