Think tank calls for Lloyds Bank and RBS action

10 June 2013

One of the UK's leading think tanks has urged the government to hand the majority of its shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group to the public.

The authorities are keen to privatise the two financial institutions by 2015 and leaders at Policy Exchange believe this would be the best way to achieve this.

Failings by both banks were instrumental in the economic downturn that gripped the UK in 2008 and the government was forced to pour £66 billion ($102 billion) into the companies in order to prevent them from collapsing.

At the moment, RBS is said to be worth £19 billion, while Lloyds is valued at £44 billion.

Policy Exchange suggested a "minority" of shares should be distributed among institutions, with the rest being handed out to up to 48 million taxpayers.

"We urge the chancellor to take this method and apply it to both RBS and Lloyds giving the taxpayer an opportunity to profit from both [banks]," the think tank stated in a report.

By Claire Archer

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