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:

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.