The UK government is engaged in talks with US officials in a bid to speed up a multi-billion dollar fine facing the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
The Treasury is keen to sell down its 71% stake in RBS, acquired when it bailed out the bank during the 2008 financial crisis.
Chancellor Philip Hammond set out a deadline of March 2019 to start the sell-off – but it cannot do so while a potential $12bn fine looms for mis-selling residential mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the crisis.
A senior City insider has said the government is hoping discussions with Department of Justice (DoJ) officials will result in a penalty for the bank being decided as quickly as possible.
The source told Sky News the Treasury's intervention could lead to a deal with the DoJ being agreed within weeks
The Treasury said in a statement during the autumn Budget that it “intends to recommence the privatisation of RBS before the end of 2018-19 and to carry out over the forecast period a programme of sales expected to dispose of about £15bn worth of shares, which represents around two-thirds of our stake at current market prices”.
RBS has previously said it hopes to settle the mis-selling case in the current financial year.