The Times reported that after 18 months of further repairs to the bank’s balance sheet senior members of RBS believed that the bank would be returned to the private sector in four offerings over ten years in the form of four rounds of shares worth more than £10bn.
The bank intends to be in a position to start paying dividends in late 2014, a key indicator of its return to health and a signal that it will be ready to re-enter the private sector.
The future share offering, said The Times, could give the coalition and future governments the chance to experiment with different forms of share offerings. For example Nick Clegg had suggested that every adult in Britain could be given RBS and Lloyds shares worth hundreds of pounds under plans to create a “people’s banking system”.
The timing of a taxpayer sale will be dictated, in part, by the share price and whether ministers are prepared to accept a loss on the Government’s accounts.