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  1. Wealth
April 12, 2010

FT: Tories would sell off bank stakes soon

By Spear's

A Conservative government plans to rush through a competition inquiry into concentration in the British banking sector, paving the way for the possible initial sale of stakes in the state-owned banks next year.

A Conservative government plans to rush through a competition inquiry into concentration in the British banking sector, paving the way for the possible initial sale of stakes in the state-owned banks next year.

George Osborne, shadow chancellor, wants to make quick progress in selling its stakes in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, with the aim of realising billions of pounds of potential profit before an election in 2014-15.

Lloyds’ share price has already recovered sufficiently for the Treasury to sell its 41 per cent stake at a profit. Lloyds’ shares closed at 64.1p on Friday, above the average price of 63.2p paid by the government.

The government’s ordinary shares in RBS and Lloyds are worth a combined £35bn.

Meanwhile, Mr Osborne has suggested to City figures he is eyeing a sale of some of its 70 per cent stake in RBS in 2012. “There is no timetable,” an aide to Mr Osborne said. “But we will do it as early as possible to get a good price.”

To read the full story, visit ft.com

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