The imminent sale of publicly owned shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), expected to be announced by the government this week, is recklessly irresponsible while the millions of pounds being put aside by the board in anticipation of further fines show the bank has not yet fully learnt the lessons of the 2008 crash, warns Unite the trade union for bank workers.
Last week the taxpayer owned bank announced a substantial loss with profits being weighed down by the £856 million being put aside in expectation of further fines for mis-selling and Forex market rigging. The bank is also facing the prospect of legal action from investors, including pensioners and staff, who lost millions when the bank was bailed out in 2008.
Rob MacGregor Unite National Officer for Finance said:
“It is recklessly irresponsible for George Osborne to push ahead with the fire sale of the people's stake in RBS while the bank has yet to convince customers and staff that it will not return to the bad practices of the past that led to the bail out.
After handing over so much of our money to the banks, the least we should expect is for our public stake to be used to clean up the industry and end the culture of misconduct that led to the crisis. Instead it appears that RBS have become so used to receiving massive fines they’ve taken to accounting for them in advance.
“As long as mis-selling remains and the lessons of 2008 are ignored it is reckless for the chancellor to sell-off the public stake and give up the potential for scrutiny and transparency that should come with it.”
RBS have been fined millions for mis-selling PPI products and for the banks part in the manipulation of the Forex market. RBS are also facing legal action from over 3,500 people, including staff, investors and pension groups, who lost millions of pounds in 2008. The case is expected to see former CEO Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwin in the dock next year.
For more information please contact Ben Norman on 07525 590 075 or Ben.Norman@unitetheunion.org. Alternatively contact the Unite press team on 020 3371 2065
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors: 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.