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UK government to start selling stake in Royal Bank of Scotland

The UK government will soon start divesting its share in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

rbs

Currently, the government owns a stake worth £32.1bn ($49.2bn) in the bank. The divestment will be initiated in the coming months and is an attempt to restore its private ownership.

The announcement was made by Chancellor George Osborne who said: "From bailing out the banks to bringing them back from the brink, now is the time for RBS to rebuild itself as a commercial bank no longer reliant on the state, but serving the working people of Britain."

The UK government had invested around £45.5bn after the financial crisis, post acquisition of Dutch banking group ABN Amro, which nearly led to the collapse of the bank.

BBC quoted Osborne as saying: "It’s the right thing to do for British businesses and British taxpayers. Yes, we may get a lower price than that was paid for it – but we will get the best price possible. For the longer we wait, the higher the price the whole economy will pay."

The government was advised by Rothschild.

The Telegraph quoted RBS chief Ross McEwan as saying: "I welcome this evening’s announcement from the Chancellor and we are pushing ahead with our strategy to build a simpler, stronger, fairer bank that is totally focused on the needs of its customers and centred here in the UK.

"When the Government starts selling its shareholding, it will be selling a bank determined to be the best in the country."


Image: The UK government had invested around £45.5bn in Royal Bank of Scotland after the 2008 financial crisis. Photo: courtesy of HM Treasury/Crown Copyright.