The Real Deal New York

“Total f*cking garbage”: RBS bankers joked about how bad their loans were prior to the US housing crash

Emails and call transcripts from the bank were released as part of a $4.9B settlement
August 17, 2018 10:15AM

A man holding trash and the Royal Bank of Scotland office building in Connecticut (Credit: iStock and Faithful Gould)

The infamous 2008 housing market crash didn’t take everyone by surprise.

Emails from Royal Bank of Scotland that the U.S. Department of Justice recently released include jokes from bankers about ruining the U.S.’ housing market. At one point, the bank’s chief U.S. credit officer described the financial products RBS was selling as “total fucking garbage” with “rampant” and “random” fraud, according to Business Insider.

The email and call transcripts were released as part of a $4.9 billion settlement with RBS. The DOJ criticized the bank for the misleading methods it used to sell residential mortgage-backed securities, noting that top executives made light of this internally.

In one phone call to the head trader at RBS, his friend said, “[I’m] sure your parents never imagine[d] they’d raise a son who [would] destroy the housing market in the richest nation on the planet.”

“I take exception to the word ‘destroy,’” he replied. “I am more comfortable with ‘severely damage.’” [Business Insider] – Eddie Small