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Government to slash shares in lender by 75%

Government to slash shares in lender by 75%

The Treasury has announced that it will convert B shares that the government holds in RBS to ordinary shares, as it takes a further step towards privatising the lender. 

The government has already started to reduce its shareholding in the lender and has announced plans to reduce this by 75% over the next five years. 

The B shares count towards the economic rights of shareholders, but unlike ordinary shares don’t provide voting rights. They were originally created in December 2009 when the government held an 84.4% economic shareholding in RBS with the aim of keeping its stake of voting shares below 75%.

Stock market listing rules require majority shareholders in companies to hold less than 75% of voting shares for the company to remain listed.

Following the conversion of the B shares into ordinary shares, the government will hold 72.88% of the ordinary share capital of RBS. 

The news comes a week after the lender appointed a new Director of Finance, and submitted a banking licence application to the FCA for its new bank Williams & Glyn.


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