Britain mulls giving RBS shares to public: Report
In a move that might lift the spirits of cash-strapped Britons before the next general election, the government is considering giving away its stake in state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) by 2015, newspapers reported on Friday.
The government owns 82 per cent of RBS after rescuing the bank by pumping in 45 billion pounds (S$86 billion) of capital when it neared collapse in 2008.
In October, the bank said it was preparing to sell the shares in 2014, one year before the next general election, with the timing and sale structure up to the government. No share giveaway was mentioned.
"Plans to sell off or even 'give away' the government's majority stake in Royal Bank of Scotland before the next election are being drawn up by (finance minister) George Osborne's Treasury," Britain's Independent newspaper said in an advance copy of its Saturday front page, which gave no sourcing details.