The British government has unveiled plans to re-privatise Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), targeting sale of shares worth £15bn by 2023.

The government intends to begin sale of around two-thirds of its 72% stake in the 2018/19 financial year. Plans are on to offload £3bn per year over five years.

Commenting on the development in the Autumn Budget, chancellor Philip Hammond said: “RBS has made significant progress on resolving its legacy issues and refocusing on serving British businesses and consumer. It remains the government’s objective to return the bank fully to the private sector when it represents value for money to do so and market conditions allow.”

The government, which rescued RBS at the height of the financial crisis through a £45bn taxpayer bailout, further revealed that it faces a £26.2bn loss on its RBS stake, down from the previous prediction of £29.2bn.

Earlier this year, the government also offloaded its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group, which it bailed out with £20.3bn during the financial meltdown, helping the bank return to private ownership.

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