UK government sells 7.7% of RBS shares at a loss
(6 June 2018 – UK) The UK government has cut its holding in RBS to 62.4 percent, down from 70.1 percent, in a further step in its mission to return the bank to private ownership.
The deal was finalised at a loss for taxpayers however with the completed sale presenting a £2.1bn loss compared with the amount paid for the shares in 2008 when the bank was bailed out of the financial crisis.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has repeatedly argued that public ownership was a drag on RBS and the wider economy. He said on Tuesday that ‘the government should not be in the business of owning banks”.
“The proceeds of this sale will go towards reducing our national debt – this is the right thing to do for taxpayers as we build an economy that is fit for the future,” he added.
RBS chief executive Ross McEwan praised the decision and what it means for the lender saying, “This is an important moment for RBS and an important step in returning the bank to private ownership. It also reflects the progress we have made in building a much simpler, safer bank that is focused on delivering for its customers and it shareholders.”