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McEwan: RBS' chances of US settlement in 2017 'diminishing'

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc sees "diminishing" chances of reaching a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its mortgage bond investigation before the end of 2017, CEO Ross McEwan said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

He stressed, however, that the bank is "in a very strong capital position" to handle a settlement.

The misselling case is the remaining hurdle to RBS' return to private hands, as the U.K. government is reportedly waiting for the bank to settle the potentially hefty fine before selling its 71% stake in the lender. The settlement is also impeding RBS' plan to resume dividend payments, which would lure investors to acquire the government's shares, Bloomberg News said.

When RBS does resume dividends, it will start small and could consider giving investors special payouts in the future, McEwan reportedly said. He also added that the U.K. and the EU's breakthrough in Brexit negotiations will not change the bank's plans to setup an alternative trading hub in Amsterdam, the newswire noted.