13 Oct 2008

British banks to seek government funding

8:49 am on 13 October 2008

Four of Britain's biggest banks will ask on Monday for about Stg40 billion of taxpayer funding as capital to boost their balance sheets.

Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, Lloyds TSB and Barclays are in talks with the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.

The BBC reports an announcement is planned before the markets open on Monday.

A key aspect of the announcements will be what the government requires the banks to do in return for the cash. These could involve curbs to executive pay and resumption of normal lending to individuals and small businesses.

Earlier in the year, RBS raised Stg12 billion from its shareholders, which is now more than the bank is worth on the stock exchange.

There were huge falls on stock markets last week.

The FTSE 100 in London fell 21.1% during the week - its worst weekly fall since the crash of 1987.

The Dow Jones in New York fell 18% in the week while the Dax in Frankfurt fell 21.6%.