Royal Bank of Scotland was preparing to inject loans and other credit assets worth more than £325bn into a government-backed insurance scheme last night in an effort to stabilise the state-controlled bank while saving it from full nationalisation. The move comes as it records the largest annual loss in UK corporate history at £24.1bn.

Ministers and RBS executives were hammering out details of the plan, to be formally announced today. Lloyds Banking Group, which is expected to insure up to £250bn worth, is expected to unveil a similar deal when it reports its results tomorrow.

The plan amounts to a giant state recapitalisation of two of Britain’s largest banks and attempts to ensure that they retain their stock market listings while compensating taxpayers for the enormous risks being taken on.

Financial Times, BBC