RBS 'may be fully nationalized'

2 August 2012

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) may become fully nationalized in the near future, it has emerged today (2 August).

Senior officials within the UK government are discussing the possibility of completely buying out the remaining private investors in the financier in order to give the administration 100 per cent control of the business, the Financial Times reports.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance already owns an 82 per cent stake in the financier after it received a taxpayer-funded bailout at the height of the global economic downturn.

But ministers are now apparently seriously considering the possibility of purchasing the remaining 18 per cent of the business - a deal that would cost the coalition around £5 billion ($8.1 billion).

Policymakers believe such a move would enable them to direct RBS to lend more to companies, which, in turn, would increase fluidity in the UK economy.

However, the report added that chancellor George Osborne opposes the idea on the basis it would mean taxpayers taking full responsibility for the bank's debts.

By Gary Cooper

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