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Whose company is it anyway?

In a terse statement, UKGI simply said that: “the creation of an RBS Shareholder Committee was not compatible with its mandate to protect and realise value for taxpayers from the sale of the government’s RBS shares”. A curious statement. Was it suggesting that a shareholder committee would somehow block or delay future sales of RBS shares? Or, perhaps, reduce the RBS share price? On the face of it, UKGI could hardly be said to be succeeding on that score. Shortly before UKGI was created in 2015, the government sold 6 per cent of RBS for 330p a share; earlier this month, the best price it could get for the sale of a 7.7 per cent stake was 271p. Since the initial 84 per cent stake was acquired for £45.5bn, equivalent to 502p per share, both these sales crystallised substantial losses for the UK taxpayer.


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