UK government to sell chunk of Royal Bank of Scotland

MarketsAssociated Press

Britain's government says it intends to sell part of its stake in taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to investors.

The decision comes only weeks after the bank, which was bailed out during the financial crisis, announced it had agreed to pay $4.9 billion to settle U.S. claims that it misled investors who bought securities backed by risky mortgages in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.

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That tentative settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice marked a watershed moment for RBS because the government insisted that the U.S. claims had to be resolved before it could sell its stake.

The government expects to sell about 925 million shares, equivalent to a 7.7 percent stake. That will reduce the government holding from about 70.1 percent to 62.4 percent.