2007 - 2021

George Osborne: don’t sell RBS at a massive loss to taxpayers

Police-at-RBS-building-001George Osborne is rushing through a fire sale of RBS at a massive £13bn loss to taxpayers.

You read that right. Just as he’s pushing through £12bn of welfare cuts which will hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society, Osborne wants to sell the taxpayer-owned bank back to his friends in the City at knockdown prices, losing taxpayers at least an eyewatering £13bn.

We’re already paying for the banking crisis — which we didn’t cause — through massive cuts to our social security. Now we’re facing a new wave of cuts, while Osborne wants to return RBS on the cheap to the people who caused the crisis in the first place.

Just a few months ago, George Osborne was insisting we’d get our money — the £45.2bn spent to save RBS from collapse — back from any sale of the bank. Now, after the election, he thinks he can get away with selling it at a massive loss by rushing through the sale before we have time to stop him.

Let’s prove him wrong.

Tell George Osborne not to sell off RBS at a knockdown price. Osborne needs to review all of the options on the table and find out what’s best for taxpayers and the economy.

The cosy relationship between government and the financial sector is right at the heart of the corporate capture of our democracy. The banks caused the financial crisis, and society has been paying for their reckless behaviour ever since as losses were socialised and profits privatised.

But the banks haven’t learned. After paying out £10bn in fines for misconduct, they’re now busy lobbying to water down regulations designed to protect us from the next crisis. And RBS, which was bailed out as a result of its reckless pursuit of ever riskier profit, is especially ruthless. Even a government report has called it a “vampire bank”, bleeding its customers dry.

We own 79% of RBS. Rather than selling off our stake at a loss to people who want to carry on with business as usual, the government should be finding ways to make the bank work for the good of the nation — using it to invest in fixing our broken banking system.

We have a one-time opportunity to fix our banking system– let’s not let George Osborne throw it away.

Osborne: don’t rush through a sale of RBS. We demand you properly assess what is best for the economy and the British public before deciding its future. Go here to sign the petition.



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Comments (8)

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  1. bringiton says:

    This is where the ideology of “Private good Public bad” trumps the ideology of “Balancing the Books”.
    Perhaps if they were to sell off Trident to the Saudi’s,they could rent it back on a pay as you go basis and help to offset these losses.
    Politics always comes before economics at Westminster.

  2. Darien says:

    This is where a No vote in the referendum has left us, with the English Tories working closely with their city backers, as they always have done. Aside from the usual theft here, any responsible independent government in Scotland would/should have by now prohibited the word ‘Scotland’ to be used (or rather misused) in the names of any London-based international casino bank. These banks only serve to constantly demean Scotland and our people by being allowed to drag the name of our country into the global financial gutter. But then again, 55% of us recently voted to be so demeaned, in this and so many other ways.

  3. Stuart McDuff says:

    How has this news regards RBS and banks been reported and the emphasis and implications of that reporting?

    Much has and continues to be said about FIFA. Why? Sour grapes mostly because England lost out to Qatar and the English press and state broadcaster won’t let it drop.

    That there is corruption in FIFA looks to be the case, but is unproven till a trial reports. One of the main tasks of FIFA has been to support football in the developing world, that Asia and Africa voted enmasse for Blatter suggests this has been successful. In other words FIFA is working, but there may be some hidden criminality.

    Contrast FIFA reporting, with reporting on the banks over the crash or setting rates and Westminster sleaze where criminality has been established and MPs have gone to jail. These institutions are not working or delivering, except to a few, the wealthy elite.

    Also ask yourself, what impact does FIFA have on my life contrasted to that of my bank or my mp? Also what depths have bbc or times gone to, to investigate the banks, again ask yourself why.

    This brings us on to RBS, my bank, the bank that if the Scottish people voted to manage their own affairs said it would relocate its main office to England. Imagine if RBS staff or people living in Scotland with RBS accounts displayed the same commitment to RBS?

    Make no mistake, the sale of RBS will be very political, if damage can be done to SNP or the Scottish economy, osborne will view this as a bonus. Banking is long term, or should be. But, osborne and johnson will be vying for the tory ledership before and during 2019, they will have scant regard for Scotland where thy register at 14%. The sale of RBS will see money for the tories who will spend it on short term pay outs to see them elected in 2020, hardly to Scotland”s benefit or aligned to the people’s wishes.

    Scotland is going to get royally ripped off by this sale. It”s like the colonial days, the colonial power use a colonial countriy”s resources to enrich itself and with part of the proceeds, spend this on building dependency and bribing place men and women to keep the colony in its place.

    It”s not only the Tories who are responsible for this position, labour relations with the banks from 1995 to 2010 is well documented. brown and darling are waiting for their pay offs, only question is whether they will have to wait till after the Scottish election in May 2016 before picking up their knighthoods and peerages?

    What away to run Scotland!

  4. kevin says:

    It is dead money sitting there doing nothing best to sell the shares and get out. Once that sale begins the share price will go up just like Lloyds did so he not loosing a single penny. But it still dead money doing nothing right now

    we give 13 billion away in foreign aid each year

    1. Connor McEwen says:

      Go back to the east end of London along with the Krays.
      Canary Wharf was a gangland hangout in the 60’s and 70’s .No change there then.

  5. Wul says:

    There is a long, long history of public wealth being transfered into private hands by Government.
    (I tend to picture a high speed conveyor belt, or powerful hoover, sucking up money from towns and streets all over the country and spraying it it into bank accounts in tax havens.)

    The benefactors then lecture us about “strivers not skivers” and the “something for nothing society”. After this, we (some of us, anyway) look around and blame our neighbours for the lack of public services and opportunities for ordinary folks.

    Will RBS be sold complete with its liability for all those massive fines it owes, or will taxpayers be asked to pay the fines of those who profit from stealing from us?

    You really couldn’t make it up.

    I’d rather see some effort going into creating a national investment bank as proposed by Common Weal:

  6. maxi kerr says:

    These excuses for people can do anything they want,with anybody and anything that takes their fancy.
    One day we will have the biggest stick and i can assure you! it will be well used.

  7. Anton says:

    “We’re already paying for the banking crisis — which we didn’t cause” Hmm. In its heyday, the Royal Bank of Scotland was the biggest bank in the world (yes, really), and is generally accepted as one of the architects of the worst financial crisis since 1929. For full details and a forensic analysis I recommend “Shredded – Inside the Bank that Broke Britain” by Ian Fraser.

    So who are “we”? Certainly RBS’ wild expansionism had the blessing of the UK Government, but let’s not forget that it was also supported by the Scottish establishment, most notoriously by Alex Salmond offering his full support for RBS’ vastly overinflated cash offer for ABN Amro.

    Now, I’m not blaming Alex Salmond for this – there was a collective madness around at the time and I’m not inclined to allocate specific responsibility to any individual or institution.

    But I don’t think that we can pretend that “we” weren’t at least partially culpable.

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