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Timetable for bank sale

Chancellor targets RBS privatisation share sale

RBS St Andrew SqThe Treasury is to kick off the privatisation of Royal Bank of Scotland by March 2019, according to details buried in the Budget papers.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the sale of the government’s 71% stake comes as the bank prepares to settle a multi-billion dollar fine with US authorities for mis-selling mortgage securities.

Mr Hammond has been awaiting confirmation on the size of the expected fine with the US Department of Justice, which could be as high as $12bn.

The Treasury said in Wednesday’s Budget that it “intends to recommence the privatisation of RBS before the end of 2018‑19 and to carry out over the forecast period a programme of sales expected to dispose of around £15bn worth of shares, which represents around two thirds of our stake at current market prices”.

Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, has indicated that the bank is “optimistic” of reaching a final settlement with the US authorities this financial year.


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