Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lighting A Pile Of Money On Fie

UK has seen how much fun we're having doing it, so they're getting in on the action.

LONDON — Reporting the biggest annual loss in British corporate history, the Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday became the first bank to sign up to the British government’s asset protection plan, intended to repair the economy and revive lending by helping banks to set aside illiquid assets.

The bank, which is up to 70 percent owned by the British government, said it would insure assets worth £325 billion, or $462 billion, with the government as it created a separate division. In exchange, the bank will pay a fee of £6.5 billion, or $9.23 billion, in preference shares to the government and commit to increase lending. Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays might also join the scheme.

Under the agreement, R.B.S. would bear the first loss on the insured assets of up to £19.5 billion, or $27.69 billion. Any loss after that would be borne 90 percent by the taxpayer and 10 percent by R.B.S., the bank said in a statement. The Treasury will also buy £13 billion, or $18.46 billion, of the preference shares. R.B.S. plans to run off or dispose the assets in the next three to five years.