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Vince Cable presses authorities for RBS prosecution decision

UK business secretary Vince Cable has put pressure on the Scottish legal authorities urging for a quick decision on whether to prosecute former directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In a letter written to the authorities, Mr Cable said he was keen for a decision to be reached as quickly as possible to maintain public confidence in the bank, which is part owned by the government after receiving a £45.5 billion ($70.7 billion) bailout in October 2008.

Scotland's Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has been reviewing whether a case can be brought against any former directors since January 2012 and Mr Cable wants the process to be sped up.

Mr Cable asked in the letter for an update on progress and a "likely timeframe" for when any decision might be made.

Fred Goodwin, the chief executive of RBS at the time of the bank's near collapse, has since been stripped of his knighthood but did not face any disciplinary action by the Financial Services Authority when it published the findings of its inquiry into what went wrong.

By Tony Aynsley