RBS agrees to shareholder group’s demand for shareholder committee resolution

Sir Howard Davies

Royal Bank of Scotland shareholders are to be given the chance to decide on the establishment of a shareholder committee at the still 72 per cent state-owned lender following a long running campaign by investor groups.

Sharesoc, the investors’ group which has spearheaded the drive for greater shareholder influence on RBS’s board, says the institution has bowed to its calls for a shareholder resolution at May’s annual meeting.

The vote on the establishment of a shareholder committee will need 75 per cent of shareholder support before it can be carried.

Last May’s AGM saw a resolution by Sharesoc calling for such a committee to be established blocked, with RBS chairman Sir Howard Davies claiming the bank could no accede to such a request because it would be incompatible with company law and against its constitution.

That stance was met with outrage by many shareholders.

Sharesoc said Royal Bank will be presented with the opportunity to “lead UK plc” by following Scandinavian countries like Sweden where shareholder committees have become commonplace over the last two decades.

Sharesoc director Cliff Weight said: “Sharesoc and UKSA have fought for better shareholder engagement and shareholder committees for over 20 years. At last our efforts are being recognised. A positive vote at the AGM will be a great step forward for shareholder democracy.”