Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'10 Years' for RBS to Repay Taxpayer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'10 Years' for RBS to Repay Taxpayer

Article excerpt

OUSTED boss Stephen Hester today warned it could take up to a decade for the taxpayer to be repaid its PS45bn stake in bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland.

Mr Hester, whose departure from the 81% state-owned bank is due before the end of this year, told the Sunday Telegraph that privatising RBS was a long-term project. He said: "My observation is that if the ultimately desired proceeds are PS45 billion, then there has never been a privatisation that raises that much in one go.

"So it is most likely that it would be, if you do it conventionally, four or five goes over 10 years. That's why I've always been confident the state would get its PS45bn back."

His comments come as George Osborne prepares to use the Chancellor's Mansion House speech to signal the sale of the Government's shares in Lloyds Banking Group.

The first tranche of shares could be made available over the summer, with the preferred option thought to involve a sale to major financial institutions rather than to members of the public through a Tell Sid-style offer. …

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