MPs warn Govt may never recover £66bn stake in RBS and Lloyds

RBS Royal Bank of Scotland 440

An influential group of MPs has warned the Government may never recover the £66bn it spent purchasing shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group to stop them collapsing.

The Public Accounts Committee argues that the “temporary public ownership” is likely to last for the foreseeable future if the Government continues with its objective of getting value for its £66bn investment, according to the Financial Times.

In a report, the committee says: “The £66bn cash spent purchasing shares in RBS and Lloyds may never be recovered.”

The report comes weeks after UK Financial Investments, which controls the Government’s 82 per cent stake in RBS and its 40 per cent stake in Lloyds, said a sale was not imminent.

The Government bailed out RBS in October with £45.4bn of taxpayers’ money to prevent it from collapsing following its near-ruinous acquisition of ABN Amro. It bought a 40 per cent stake in Lloyds for £21bn at the same time.