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PM calls for RBS to speed up return to private sector

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  • 19/02/2013
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PM calls for RBS to speed up return to private sector
Prime Minister David Cameron has called on Royal Bank of Scotland to speed its return to the private sector amid speculation the government may give away its stake to the public.

Speaking in India where he is attempting to improve trade relations, the PM said he wanted RBS to “accelerate” plans to return it to private ownership.

“It was a very badly damaged institution but I think they are doing the right thing but obviously we want them to, where possible, accelerate the adjustments that they are making in terms of making it a strong organisation,” he said.

RBS was bailed out during the financial crisis, leaving the government with an 82% stake.

Over the weekend it emerged the government was considering a £300-£400 share giveaway to every voter.

This was quashed by the Treasury as chancellor George Osborne stressed he wanted to get back what the government put in – something which would require the share price to rise substantially from its current level.

However Cameron refused to rule out such a move. He said: “These are all interesting questions for the future. The first job is to turn around the performance of RBS and to strengthen its balance sheet, strengthen its business and that’s what (RBS chief executive) Stephen Hester and his team are doing.

“But I am keen to examine all possibilities for what we can do to put RBS in time back into the private sector.”

 

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