To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the oral statement by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury of 11 June 2015, Official Report, column 1373, what the evidence base is for his statement that the Royal Bank of Scotland has not been able to play its full part in small and medium-sized enterprise lending because of public ownership.
The Chancellor has previously set out his objectives for the banks in state ownership, including Royal Bank of Scotland. We want to maximise the ability of these important banks to support the British economy, and we want to get the best value for money for the taxpayer.
Large scale public ownership has an inhibiting effect on the involvement of private institutions in a company such as RBS, and therefore naturally impacts on broader commercial performance. The best way to deliver our objectives is to return RBS to private ownership. Commercial organisations are more efficient, more innovative and more effective when they are in the private sector.
This policy is supported by advice from the Governor of the Bank of England and independent analysis from Rothschild investment bank. In their recent report into this issue, Rothschild note that by starting to sell down its stake in RBS, “the Government can bring about broader benefits for the institution, which could help to accelerate its recovery”, as well as improving the share price and securing value for the taxpayer.