The Government has opened a tender for investment banks looking to advise on the eventual sale of Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, ahead of returning the lenders to public hands.
UK Financial Investments, the Treasury wing that oversees the Government’s holdings in the banks, has asked interested parties to submit their applications to become advisers by 8 July 2013.
The organisation’s website says: “UKFI is launching a process to establish a framework agreement for the supply of specialist financial services.
“It is from these panels that UKFI would expect to make appointments to assist it in any future transaction(s) involving HM Government’s shareholdings in Lloyds and RBS.”
The Government currently owns 82 per cent of RBS and 39 per cent of Lloyds. Appointing advisers would be the first step in disposal of these stakes.
Last week, chancellor George Osborne said in his Mansion House speech that the Treasury is “actively considering options” for selling its holdings in Lloyds, where the share price recently passed 61p – the price at which equity support is booked by the Government.
RBS’s share prices remains below the level at which the Government bought, meaning Lloyds shares are likely to be the first to be sold. Osborne is mulling spliting RBS into a good and bad bank.
A timescale for the disposal of both banks is yet to be set out, but remains the subject of debate in the market.
UKFI, which was formed in November 2008, says its aim “to manage these shareholdings commercially to create and protect value for the taxpayer as shareholder and to devise and execute a strategy for realising value for HMG’s shareholdings in an orderly and active way”.