Chancellor George Osborne’s planned sell-off of the taxpayer’s stake in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland is a ‘fire sale’ at the expense of the industry’s long term health warns Unite, the UK’s largest trade union.
Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer for finance, said:
“This fire sale is driven by George Osborne’s reckless ideology, not what is best for the UK’s banking sector, the workers who have put it back on the road to recovery, or the public who rely on it.
Rather than selling off the taxpayer’s stake, potentially at a loss, the government should focus on the long-term health of Britain’s banks to ensure the industry works for the good of the nation.
The Tories are reheating their 1980’s-style of privatisation, but Unite will ‘Tell Sid’ that this sell-off is wrong for the banks and for his savings.”
The sell-off of Lloyds shares is expected to cut the government’s stake in the bank by over half. The taxpayer has held a stake of 41 per cent following the 2008 bailout.
The government holds an 80 per cent stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which received a £45.2 billion bailout. At current share prices the taxpayer is expected to lose £13.5 billion on its investment in RBS.
In the March budget, Osborne announced future bank shares may be sold-off in the style of 1980’s privatisations, including the infamous ‘Tell Sid’ campaign which promoted the sell-off of British Gas.
For more information please contact Ben Norman on 07525 590075 or Ben.Norman@unitetheunion.org. Alternatively contact the Unite press team on 020 3371 2061
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.