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UK Business Secretary Cable says RBS privatisation 'not urgent' -FT
May 30, 2013 / 11:33 PM / 4 years ago

UK Business Secretary Cable says RBS privatisation 'not urgent' -FT

May 30 (Reuters) - Vince Cable, Britain’s business secretary, said in an interview with the Financial Times on Thursday that the sell-off of the part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland is “not in any sense urgent” and that Treasury ministers and officials were acting hastily on the issue.

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has said several times this year that the bank, more than 80 percent-owned by the government, should be returned to private ownership as soon as possible.

Cable, a Liberal Democrat, also told the FT the government should not give up its plans to spilt up RBS and Lloyds Banking Group to bring back competition in the sector.

“There are strong views on that. I keep being told there are big IT complexity problems ... But from a policy point of view, it would be better if we had more competing institutions,” the paper quoted him as saying.

“You could sell it (RBS) off in bits and create more competition. There is a point at which the two issues - competition and ownership - do intersect,” he told the FT.

Cable also expressed concerns that the RBS stake could be sold off at a loss to taxpayers, the FT said.

He further said that there is a “possibility” of a Competition Commission inquiry into the banking sector soon, the report added.

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