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Cameron calls for faster RBS return to private sector

RBS Branch 480

Prime minister David Cameron has put pressure on the Royal Bank of Scotland to “accelerate” reforms needed to return it to the private sector.

The Financial Times reports that Cameron, speaking on a three-day trip to India this week, said the Government will examine all options for privatising RBS.

He said: “The first job is to turn around the performance of RBS and to strengthen its balance sheet, strengthen its business and that is what Stephen Hester is doing.

“But I am keen to examine all possibilities for what we can do to put RBS, in time, back into the private sector.

“It is a huge undertaking, it was a very badly damaged institution, but I think they are doing the right thing. Obviously we want them to, where possible, accelerate the adjustments that they are making in terms of making it a strong organisation.”

Cameron said the idea of an RBS share giveaway to millions of citizens, floated by business secretary Vince Cable earlier this month, is an “interesting idea for the future”.

Earlier this month, RBS was fined £390m for Libor rigging, forcing its head of investment John Hourican to quit.

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “The Government cannot rush this return to privatisation as it would be hugely damaging to the economy, not to mention very embarrassing, if it needed to return it to public ownership again.”

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