George 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.
Britain may sell RBS shares at loss this year -sources, Reuters, 10 May 2015
Tory ‘fire sale’ of Lloyds & RBS shares not in best interests of banks or taxpayers, warns Unite, Unite, 11 May 2015