The settlement, agreed in principle, is in respect of a Department of Justice investigation into RBS's issuance and underwriting of USA residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS") between 2005 and 2007.
In March, Barclays (bcs) agreed to pay $2 billion to settle its USA probe, securing a penalty less than half of what US authorities originally demanded.
McEwan had hoped for a settlement before the end of 2017, but changes at the DOJ following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump saw negotiations slip back.
Accern also assigned news stories about the financial services provider an impact score of 44.8826495689191 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the stock's share price in the near future.
RBS executives said that it would take a few weeks to finish the paperwork, but the total penalty was unlikely to increase.
The British government insisted that the US claims had to be resolved before it could sell its 72 percent stake in RBS.
The absence of the Department of Justice's attentions should make the stake sell easier as the bank can now concentrate on operating its business.More news: Tristan Thompson Says He Wants More Kids But Doesn't Mention Khloe Kardashian
But McEwan stressed that the timing of selling the stake is in the government's hands.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said past year that he was reluctant to sell shares while the DoJ probe had still to be resolved.
RBS is one of the last to settle with U.S. regulators, following rival Barclays, which agreed a $2bn (£1.5bn) agreement in March with the DoJ and Deutsche Bank, which struck a $7.2bn (£5.3bn) settlement at the end of 2016. Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) agreed to a $2bn (£1.4bn) settlement with the DOJ in March.
RBS, however, cautioned that the settlement was subject to the parties entering into a legally-binding agreement, with no assurance that they would "agree on the final terms of any proposed settlement".
Those remaining banks could now expect to pay less than had been estimated - in UBS's case, less than half of the top-end forecast of $5 billion, Elliott Stein, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, wrote in a note on Thursday.
The agreement of the civil, rather than criminal, penalty will finally allow RBS to move forward and potentially resume paying a dividend for the first time since its £45.5bn taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis.
Stein, the Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said that "RBS's billions in payments to other agencies and states no doubt played a role in its less-than-expected DoJ settlement".