McEwan: RBS sale delayed by ‘couple of years’

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan

The sale of the UK taxpayer’s remaining 73% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland is likely to be delayed by “at least a couple of years” said RBS chief executive Ross McEwan in a radio interview with LBC.

Shares of RBS have lost about one third of their value since the UK voted 51.9% to leave the EU.

RBS shares have fallen from about 248p the day before the EU vote to about 169p, giving it a current stock market value of just under £20 billion.

Since the vote, financial markets have been in turmoil amid genuine confusion as to whether the UK government will ever invoke the EU’s Article 50 process to start a two-year withdrawal from the EU.

Asked when RBS would be sold back to the market, McEwan replied: “Look, it’s up to the government.

“I think that this will be a setback, let’s be quite honest.

“I think at least a couple of years … we’ll be pushed back because of it – but markets turn around and go positive as they do as quickly as they go negative …

“I think it has been put back … I would have thought a couple of years …”

McEwan has sent a memo to the company’s 90,000 staff to try and ease their concerns amid the calamitous drop in the RBS share price since the EU vote.

Watch the full interview here: