A new briefing note published today by the TaxPayers' Alliance suggests that those bemoaning the "loss" made on the first sale of RBS shares are missing the point.
With RBS' balance sheet significantly deleveraged and the capital position much stronger than it was seven years ago, it is the right time to start closing the book on this sorry episode and return RBS to where it belongs: the private sector.
The note argues that, learning the lessons from the financial crisis, the aim globally should be for a regulatory regime that strikes a healthy balance between standardisation and diversity which protects taxpayers. New powers for the Bank of England such as ordering a so-called "bail in," are welcome, but globally there is a real danger that policy makers are misdiagnosing the causes of the last crisis and unwittingly sowing the seeds of the next one .
Read the briefing note, Taxpayers and bank bailouts, here
Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance and author of the briefing note, commented:
"Taxpayers have always been reluctant shareholders in RBS. Bailing out this bank, and for
that matter Lloyds, was never an "investment" but part of an emergency recapitalisation plan. Now that the bank is in a healthier condition, it's time to return it to where it belongs - the private sector."