Government plans to sell more RBS shares this term

The Chancellor began returning RBS into private hands in August with a �2.1bn share sale
The Chancellor began returning RBS into private hands in August with a �2.1bn share sale

The Government aims to sell off a further £25 billion of Royal Bank of Scotland shares as it accelerates its plan to dispose of taxpayer stakes in high street banks.

It intends to sell this chunk of shares over the course of this Parliament, which ends in 2020, and plans to sell a further £5.8bn of RBS shares in 2020-21, according to Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.

It said: “The Government is committed to returning the financial sector assets acquired in 2008-09 to the private sector.

“As there is no longer a policy need for the Government to hold these assets, it will seek to dispose of them, reducing public sector net debt while maximising value for taxpayers.”

The move comes after the Chancellor began returning RBS into private hands in August with a £2.1bn share sale, but faced criticism that the taxpayer has been left short-changed after making a £1bn loss.

The Government also reiterated plans to sell around £2bn worth of shares in Lloyds to investors next spring, backed by a multi-media ad campaign.

Mr Osborne’s statement added that it also expects to sell a total of £7.5bn of Bradford & Bingley assets during this Parliament.

Earlier this month the Treasury sold £13bn of Northern Rock mortgages, formally thought of as a bad risk, to US investment firm Cerberus Capital Management, in what is described as the largest ever financial asset sale by a European government.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said the Chancellor has so far recovered almost £70bn from sales of financial holdings acquired during the crisis.