Efforts to create a shareholders’ committee at Royal Bank of Scotland could be scuppered by a lack of support from a key government body.
The Sunday Times reports that a resolution creating a committee for investors is due to be voted on at the 30 May annual general meeting. However, the paper understands that UKGI (UK Government Investments), the body that manages government shareholdings in companies, will abstain, causing the resolution to fail.
The resolution needs a vote of 75% or more for success.
The campaign for a shareholders’ committee at RBS has been led by investor advisory body ShareSoc, alongside the UK Shareholders’ Association.
In its most recent statement on RBS, ShareSoc said: “The RBS Board have recommended shareholders vote against the shareholder resolution. This is extremely disappointing, but not unexpected given their historic treatment of shareholders.”
Director Cliff Weight told the Financial Times: “The RBS board should be listening to shareholders, not telling them how to vote [in respect of this shareholders’ resolution].”
ShareSoc wrote to prime minister Theresa May asking for support in the campaign for a shareholders’ committee.
The letter said: “We have been greatly impressed by your commitment to improve corporate governance and to rein in the boards of UK plc. Like you, we want ‘a country that works for everyone, not just for the privileged few’ and agree it is necessary to ‘get tough on irresponsible behaviour in big business’.
“Recent events at GKN, Aviva, Persimmon, Carillion and Conviviality all reinforce the public perception that the system is not working and that something needs to be done to improve matters.”