Another day, another rescue? Well, at least another rescue petition. From Robert Peston at the BBC:
Well last night a trio of the UK’s biggest banks – Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, and Lloyds TSB – signalled to Alistair Darling that they’d like to see the colour of taxpayers’ money rather quicker than he might have expected.
According to bankers, these three were disappointed that at a private meeting last night with Darling, held at his request, he didn’t present to them a fully elaborated banking rescue plan…
On paper, Lloyds TSB, RBS and Barclays don’t have a pressing need for additional capital.
But they have become concerned that they are being weakened significantly by investors’ perception that they are short of capital and their balance sheets need to be strengthened….
And although the other big banks were represented, it was the chief executives of Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays – respectively Eric Daniels, Sir Fred Goodwin and John Varley – who formed a tightly-knit caucus and gave urgent focus to the discussion.
The three banks estimate that they may need around £15bn of new capital each, with £7.5bn paid up front and a further £7.5bn guaranteed by the Treasury that would be delivered if it became necessary.
Current rough estimates are that the capital injection could be as much as £50bn in total for all British banks.
FT Alphaville reports that RBS investors did not take the news well:
In the frame, on Tuesday, RBS — shares off 30 per cent mid-morning, touching a low of 99p. The aggressive mark-down follows news from the BBC’s Robert Peston that RBS is one of three banks to have approached the British government, each asking for a £15bn capital injection.
Bloomberg also has the bank funding appeal as the lead story on its news page right now, but curiously does not acknowledge the BBC report.