By selling off the public stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland, George Osborne is short-changing the public and wasting a historic chance to bring needed change to Britain's banks, warns Unite, the trade union representing thousands of bank workers across the UK.
In his annual Mansion House speech tonight George Osborne is expected to announce which city firm will prepare the government’s 80 per cent share in RBS for sale.
The bank received £45 billion of the taxpayers’ money following the 2008 financial crisis. While a final date to begin the sell-off is yet to be named, the public's share in the bank is expected to be sold at a substantial loss. The New Economics Foundation estimates this will result in a £13 billion loss to the taxpayer. (See Notes.)
Rob McGregor, Unite National Officer for Finance, said:
“Like Royal Mail and British Gas before it, the Tories are ripping off the public by selling our stake in RBS at a knock down rate to city investors.
That Osborne is choosing to let the Treasury lose out on millions, while using the deficit to justify £12 billion in welfare cuts shows he is motivated by pure ideology.
Since 2008 thousands of Unite members have worked to bring Britain's banks back from the brink. Yet from misselling to rate rigging, the boardrooms remain rife with scandal and misconduct.
A government determined to force the banks to reform would use the public's stake in RBS to support the bank's workers, bring transparency to the boardroom and restore trust in the industry.
If George Osborne follows this fire sale by scrapping the bank levy and returning the light touch regulation that led to the financial crisis, the task of bringing positive change to our banks must come from below, led by staff and supported by the public.”
For further information please contact Ben Norman on 07525 590075 / Ben.Norman@unitetheunion.org or alternatively contact the Unite press team on 020 3371 2061
Note to Editors:
Unite is supporting Move Your Money and the New Economics Foundation in their campaign to stop the RBS sell-off. You can view the petition here: http://action.sumofus.org/a/rbs-sell-off
New Economics Foundation: Stop the Fire Sale: http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/entry/stop-the-fire-sale-of-rbs
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.