NatWest Group slowly exiting from a 13-year taxpayers’ nightmare

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The government's ownership of NatWest Group has lasted longer than some Quentin Tarantino films, only with more blood-letting and swearing. () PLC (), or Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as it was then, was nationalised in 2008, a period in which the world’s banking system was in danger of collapsing. The original cost to the British taxpayer was £45bn, curiously quite close to the amount (£49bn) paid for Dutch bank ABN-Amro, of which more later. Some 13 years and several governments later, the British taxpayer still owns a majority stake in the bank – 54.7%. It could be on its way to becoming a minority shareholder soon, however, with UK Government Investments Limited (UKGI) instructing an American investment bank, (), to offload some of the government's shares from 12 August if it can get a decent price for them. It will be a nice little earner for () and makes you wonder how banks can fail to make money. It turns out there are numerous ways for banks to lose mone
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