Tuesday 20 February 2018

Brexit vote puts RBS sale back two years

The UK owns about 72pc of RBS. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
The UK owns about 72pc of RBS. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Stephen Morris

A SALE of Ulster Bank parent Royal Bank of Scotland Group will be delayed by at least two years after the UK vote to leave the European Union.

The referendum means the British government's sale of its stake in the bank, rescued during the financial crisis, will be delayed, according to chief executive officer Ross McEwan.

"This will be a setback, let's be quite honest, I think at least a couple of years we'll be pushed back because of it," McEwan (58) told London's LBC radio yesterday.

"You are seeing a slowdown. We're predicting growth in GDP will slip this year."

A Brexit-induced economic slump is the latest headache for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who has planned to raise about £25bn (€30bn) disposing of the UK's stake in RBS by 2020. The bank has been hampered by billions of pounds of misconduct costs, a delayed spin out of its Williams & Glyn unit and a plunging share price.

The UK owns about 72pc of the lender, which has made a loss every year since receiving a £45.5bn taxpayer-funded bailout amid the 2008 banking crisis. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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