Stephen Hester faces grilling over RBS share plans

ROYAL Bank of Scotland chief Stephen Hester will this week face questions about the timetable of a predicted £5 billion share sell-off when the lender presents it annual results on Thursday.

It is thought the bank, which is 82 per cent-owned by the taxpayer, will be preparing a sale of shares for the end of 2014, while this week it will unveil plans to further reduce the size of its investment bank. Hester is also expected to outline a range of options for its Citizens Bank operations in the US, including a £10bn flotation or outright sale of the business, according to a Sunday newspaper report.

It is expected RBS will unveil a pre-tax loss of about £6bn, against £800 million last year, due to accumulated fines and compensation for mis-selling payment protection insurance, interest-rate swaps, IT failures and rigging the Libor inter-bank lending rate. It also includes adjustments for credit rating on its debt.

Lloyds Banking Group is expected to announce plans to claw back up to £2m in bonuses from former directors this week ahead of its own results announcement on Friday.