Top RBS bankers may leave as part of Libor settlement

The coming weeks are expected to see senior Royal Bank of Scotland bankers step down as part of the bailed-out bank's multi-million pound settlement with regulators over the Libor-rigging scandal.

Though neither John Hourican, head of RBS investment bank and Peter Nielsen, head of markets, knew of the attempts to manipulate interest rates, they are expected to leave. The Libor fixing scandal has already led to the sacking of four staff being and suspension of others at the bank.

RBS, chief executive Stephen Hester, has been working to stump up a substantial Libor fine since the summer when Barclays was hit with a £290 million penalty that forced out chief executive Bob Diamond.

Hester was assigned the task turning around RBS after a £45 billion taxpayer bailout and though the manipulation of the benchmark rate continued while he was at the helm, he is said to be not under pressure.

The senior RBS bankers are now under a cloud as four former top bankers at UBS, which was hit with a £944 million Libor fine last month, appeared before the banking standards commission, which severely excoriated their performance.

According to Andrew Tyrie, the Tory MP who chairs the commission, the level of ignorance of the board of UBS (over Libor-rigging) was staggering to the point of incredulity." He went on to accuse the four of "gross negligence" and "being out their depth".