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Bank edging back into private hands

Taxpayers lose £2 billion on new sale of RBS shares

RBS Gogarburn

RBS shares to be sold (photo by Terry Murden)


The government is selling a slug of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland at a £2 billion loss, it has been confirmed.

It will offload 925 million shares, equating to 7.7% of the company, raising £2.5 billion via a placing with a number of institutions. The placing will reduce its holding from 70.1% to 62.4%, signalling gradual return of the bank to the private sector.

The price is 271p against the average price paid of 502p. In the first sale of shares in August 2015 they were priced at 330p each.

RBS has been majority owned by the government since it was bailed out at the height of the financial crisis in November 2008.

Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, said:  “I am pleased that the government has decided the time is now right to re-start the share sale process  This is an important moment for RBS and an important step in returning the bank to private ownership. 

“It also reflects the progress we have made in building a much simpler, safer bank that is focussed on delivering for its customers and its shareholders.”


Citigroup Global Markets, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan Securities (which conducts its UK investment banking activities under the marketing name J.P. Morgan Cazenove) and Morgan Stanley & Co. International were appointed as joint bookrunners for the placing.

N M Rothschild & Sons acted as Capital Markets adviser. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acts as legal counsel to UKGI in respect of English and US law.

See also:

Comment: why it is the right time to sell shares in RBS


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