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Bank shares idea gets boost from DPM

June 23, 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has publicly thrown his weight behind plans I launched in March to give nationalised bank shares to the people.

We all remember the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, culminating in the state riding to the rescue of two huge British Banks, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.  That bailout cost us roughly £66billion, adding to our national debt.  The Treasury now owns about 80% of the shares in RBS and 43% of the shares in Lloyds.

The banks are now recovering and will return to profitability.  Sometime in the near future the Government will want to dispose of the shares. But I don’t want a repeat of  the privatisations of the 1980s and 1990s.  That would mean only those with surplus cash could buy the shares.  Instead I want the Treasury to distribute the shares to every adult.  We would all benefit from any increase in the share value and get dividends.  But when the shares are sold the Treasury would claw back the original bail out cost.  This way the Treasury will get to reduce the national debt and each citizen would receive a cash bonus.

We all, in some way, have suffered from the financial crisis.  It is right that we should all get some pay back when the banks are back to financial good health.   The idea has been gathering new supporters and is being considered by the Treasury, where I will be meeting senior civil servants next week.

You can read more about my original proposal here:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2011 4:14 pm

    The tried and tested best models for banks are the mutuals – and lots of them as once existed as building societies. Why not return to them?
    Also can we as shareholders prevent this bank from investing in the arms industry? Do we have that power?

  2. July 12, 2011 5:46 pm

    I think this is a terrible idea. Most people don’t understand share trading and will get ripped off by sophisticated stock market sharks.

    Instead of the Exchequer getting a return on the, hopefully, increased value of the shares in the banks your plan means that they would only get back what they put in.

    The sale of the shares should happen when there is an appreciable gain and all the realized funds should be used to reduce the deficit. Bear in mind, we are all paying the interest on the PSBR, an unnecessary cost to every adult in the country.

    Ciaran Walsh, MBA, Business Advisor

    • July 13, 2011 10:25 am

      Ciaran – it is certainly an option for the govt/Treasury to hold onto some of the shares and only sell at a profit above the bail out cost. But I guess our difference is that you suggest that govt is best to take the profit and use it however it sees fit whereas I think the public should directly benefit and spend the money how they see fit.


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