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Capital fears stalk RBS

It looks increasingly likely - almost inevitable - that many of Europe's leading banks will need fresh dollops of capital. And, miserably, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is likely to be in the queue. Miserable, because RBS has already had a £45bn injection of capital from the UK state, leaving the government owning 83 per cent of its equity, and, as recently as June, the bank reported an apparently healthy ratio of 11.1 per cent of so-called Core Tier 1 capital (essentially equity) to risk-adjusted assets. But, as banks face the likelihood that the book value of their holdings of sovereign debt in the eurozone's floundering states has to be, perhaps, halved, fears are growing that RBS's capital may prove insufficient.

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By John Adams,
27 October 2011

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