Government’s RBS stake sale executive ‘to quit’

The head of the UK government agency in charge of selling the taxpayer’s 70% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland is to quit his job soon amid ongoing delays to the RBS sell-off, according to a Reuters report.

Oliver Holbourn, chief executive of UK Financial Investments (UKFI), will leave as the agency prepares next week to be folded into UK Government Investments which manages overall government asset sales, the report said.

The UK taxpayer’s shareholding in RBS is estimated to be worth more than £21 billion at current market prices.

Holbourn has overseen the UK government’s attempts to sell shares in the two banks, RBS and Lloyds Banking Group, that were rescued by the UK taxpayer during the 2008-9 financial crisis.

But while Lloyds last May said the government had sold its last remaining stake, RBS remains more than 70% owned by the government partly because of long-running talks on a multi-billion dollar settlement with US authorities over mortgage mis-selling allegations that is delaying the sale of RBS shares.