RBS shares sold at a £1bn loss
The banking bailout in the UK has been a controversial one... and it is about to get more annoying for everyone, as the government have got rid of around 5.4% of its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland for £2.1bn. Nice to have that money back, obviously - but not at a loss of roughly £1bn to taxpayers.
Today's sale of 333,000 shares at 330p each is well short of the average 'in-price' of 502p, which was paid by our blessed government went they originally bailed out RBS. So, after being forced into 'investing' into RBS, we've all lost £1.72 on every share sold.
Of course, the Chancellor - George Osborne - isn't going to hear anyone's complaints, as he's argued that the Royal Bank of Scotland wasn't ever bailed out with the idea of making a profit. You see, what he thought he'd mentioned was that it was only bailed out to look after the UK's financial security.
It looks like George is in a rush to offload the RBS stake. Of course, some people are wondering why that is. The Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie (who he?) thinks that it isn't impossible to recoup the £45bn investment. He said: "Why this rush to sell when the share price is so far below that paid at the time of the rescue? RBS had to be bailed out urgently, but it doesn’t have to be sold off at the same speed."
The government also said that they'd be getting rid of more Lloyds shares this week, to lower their stake in the bank even further.
However, in this instance, the taxpayer stands to make a £1.9bn profit from the Lloyds sell-off. That's assuming that Osborne would be able to flog the rest of the shares at the current market prices.