Britain's PM Cameron says wants RBS to speed restructuring

MUMBAI Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:59am IST

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

Related Topics

Stocks

   

MUMBAI (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) 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.)

FILED UNDER:

Surprise Rate Cut

Reuters Showcase

Eicher Share Sale

Eicher Share Sale

Truck maker Volvo sells shares in Eicher Motors  Full Article 

Beef Ban

Beef Ban

After beef ban, Hindu groups force abattoirs to close   Full Article 

Services Growth

Services Growth

Services growth at eight-month high in Feb - HSBC PMI  Full Article 

StanChart Results

StanChart Results

StanChart rules out share sale as profit plunges 25 pct  Full Article 

Jim O’Neill Interview

Jim O’Neill Interview

'India can become world’s fifth-largest economy by decade’s end'  Full Article 

Coal Imports

Coal Imports

India coal imports in Feb jump from year ago, but drop m/m  Full Article 

Next Superhero

Next Superhero

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood  Full Article 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Budget announcements and reactions from the industry  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage