Britain has no imminent plans to start selling shares in state-backed lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group but a sale of shares next year is realistic, sources with knowledge of government plans said.
A decision will depend ultimately on the share performance of the two banks in the intervening period and whether the government is prepared to sell at a loss, the sources said.
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Other factors which will influence the decision include the outcome of discussions between the banks and Britain's financial regulator on future capital requirements and the outcome of a review into banking standards by an influential panel of lawmakers, the sources said.
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)