Govt loses more than £2bn on RBS share sale
By Katie Marriner
The government has lost more than £2bn through the latest RBS share sale.
More than £2.5bn of government-owned RBS shares have been sold as part of returning the bank to private ownership.
The government’s shareholding has been reduced by 7.7 per cent to 62.4 per cent. Through the deal 925 million shares were sold at 271p per share.
However, the BBC reports that share price is almost half the 502p per share that was paid in the government’s bailout of RBS a decade ago at the height of the financial crisis.
Former chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne announced plans to return RBS to private ownership in 2015.
Last October, reports emerged the government was waiting for RBS to clear the air with US authorities before selling down its stake.
RBS reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice over the misselling of financial crisis era mortgage-backed securities in May.
Chancellor Philip Hammond says: “This sale represents a significant step in returning RBS to full private ownership and putting the financial crisis behind us.”
He says: “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.”