Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, has warned taxpayers that they may be helping the Royal Bank of Scotland stand for quite some time as it does not seem that the RBS will by paying back their borrowed funds any time soon. At the same time he commented that the government will not be offering shares to the voters and that the bank’s future is not yet decided.
He stated that he was frustrated with the RBS situation given the fact that it is owned 82% by the state but is still able to act independently without any ministerial control under the structure that was set up around the state’s investment.
Cable added that at the moment there is no possibility that the bank will be privatised again and it is very likely that it could be publicly owned for quite some time. However, the exact future of the bank has not been decided so anything could happen.
In addition, he also echoed comments made by Lord Nigel Lawson that if it were up to him he would have liked to have seen the RBS been nationalised at the time that it was bailed out. He went on to explain that now the government has a large problem on its hands as it is responsible for the large bank without any actual control over how it is run.
He added that the public will benefit when the RBS share price is finally able to recover, but the details have to be worked through so they can make sure to continue to move forward in terms of how to fix the banking crisis. He said that the government is in limbo with the RBS situation much like the taxpayers are right now.