November 22, 2017 / 2:39 PM / a year ago

Britain to sell 15 billion pounds of RBS shares over 5 years

LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s government will begin the reprivatisation of bailed-out lender Royal Bank of Scotland by selling 3 billion pounds ($3.98 billion) worth of shares before the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to an official report released on Wednesday.

The share sale will eventually total 15 billion pounds worth, spread evenly over 5 years, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility said in the report.

The report also said expected losses from rescuing failed banks during the 2007-2009 financial crisis narrowed to 21.8 billion pounds ($28.92 billion), from 23.5 billion pounds in March.

The government said it now faces a 26.2 billion pound loss on its stake in RBS, down from a previous forecast of 29.2 billion in March, after a recovery in the value of the bank’s shares. ($1 = 0.7540 pounds) (Reporting by Lawrence White and Andrew MacAskill, editing by Louise Heavens)

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