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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

RBS sell-off “raises questions” about relationship between Treasury and banks

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has called for the relationship between the government and the banks to be “severed” following George Osborne’s “baffling” decision to sell shares in Royal Bank of Scotland at a £1 billion loss. She has accused the government of rebuilding the “corrupt, fraud-ridden” banking system that caused the financial crisis. George Osborne sold 5.4% of RBS at 330p a share – a much lower price than the 502p the Government spent on each share it bought to bail out the bank in 2008.

Commenting Natalie Bennett said: "George Osborne’s decision to sell our shares in Royal Bank of Scotland when they are at their lowest price this year is baffling, and raises questions about the cosy relationship between the Treasury and the banks. The fact that over £2 billion of shares were sold at a discount to City institutions last night reveals where the Chancellor’s priorities lie: with bankers’ profits, rather than getting the best deal for the public."

"The billion pound loss we are likely to see on this sale allows Osborne to continue to plead poverty and inflict more spending cuts on those least able to afford them, while the bankers walk away with a tidy profit. It is high time the ties between government and the banking lobby were severed. The government is simply rebuilding the pre-2007 banking structure, with its corrupt, fraud-ridden culture and failure to meet the needs of small businesses and communities. It should instead be turning RBS into a bank of the people for the people." Ms Bennett added.