Cameron wants RBS to speed restructuring

MUMBAI Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:24am GMT

The logo of the Royal Bank of Scotland is seen at an office in London February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall

The logo of the Royal Bank of Scotland is seen at an office in London February 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland to speed up restructuring and has refused to rule out giving the government's share in the bank to the public.

The government owns 82 percent of RBS after pumping in 45 billion pounds of capital when the bank neared collapse in 2008.

Speaking in India during a trip aimed at drumming up trade and investment, Cameron made it clear he was keen to return the bank to private ownership as soon as possible and wanted it to step up its efforts to overhaul itself.

"It was a very badly damaged institution but I think they are doing the right thing but obviously we want them to, where possible, accelerate the adjustments that they are making in terms of making it a strong organisation," he said.

When asked to comment on reports the government was considering giving away its stake by 2015, Cameron said:

"These are all interesting questions for the future. The first job is to turn around the performance of RBS and to strengthen its balance sheet, strengthen its business and that's what (RBS Chief Executive) Stephen Hester and his team are doing.

"But I am keen to examine all possibilities for what we can do to put RBS in time back into the private sector."

In October, RBS 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.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in 2011 backed proposals to give the public shares in part-nationalised banks because taxpayer money had been used to keep the banking system alive.

At the time, the Treasury said it would "look at all options", but critics dismissed the idea as a headline-grabbing exercise.

(Reporting By Andrew Osborn. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

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Comments (2)
Hale wrote:
Hi,
Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland to speed up restructuring and has refused to rule out giving the government’s share in the bank to the public. This is an admirable “Robin Hood” suggestion but unpractical. The RBS’s problem are simpler. With a managerial structure of a “Pyramid on its head” with the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing a professional managerial structure is needed. That the Bosses Boss say he is under paid is also wrong. Banking standards have changed and the “Sunny-Boy” days have gone and is now a job like any other. Times are changing for example in Switzerland people and politicians are tempered and tempered at the 72 million payout of Hr. Vasella. This is bad for business.

Feb 19, 2013 9:47am GMT  --  Report as abuse
GlobalFamily21 wrote:
Why can’t nationalise the bank and run under government control, useful to the public and model to the other high-street banks?

Feb 19, 2013 6:41pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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