It’s time to turn RBS into a people’s bank.
The government wanted to sell off our 73% stake in RBS -- but now it can’t. The bank’s share price has crashed after the Brexit vote and selling it now would lose the taxpayer a whopping £30 billion. So the government has postponed the sell-off, and that gives us a huge opportunity.
If we can turn RBS into a people’s bank -- a network of local banks investing in disenfranchised communities -- we can start transforming our broken banking system into one that works for the people.
It may sound radical, but it’s perfectly possible. The idea was blocked for years by George Osborne -- but now we have a new chancellor and a government that says it wants “an economy that works for everyone”.
Let’s tell the new chancellor, Philip Hammond, to turn RBS into a people’s bank.
The Leave vote was a clear message that whole swathes of the UK have been left behind by our London-centric economic model. From its role in the banking crisis to its abandonment of communities by closing branches, RBS represents everything that’s wrong with that economic model. But now Brexit is giving us a chance to fix our broken banking system.
RBS is 73% owned by us, the taxpayer. With the government now admitting that it can’t sell our stake back to the private sector anytime soon, now is exactly the right time to take back control of RBS and use our stake in it for the public good.
A people’s RBS would be a local network of 130 banks that invest in the disenfranchised communities that voted Leave. They would protect jobs in those communities, help small businesses and rebalance our economy away from London.
SumOfUs has fought to rein in the power of corporate banks and keep them accountable. 120,000 UK SumOfUs members signed on to stop George Osborne from selling off RBS at a loss to the taxpayer. Now let’s take the next step. Turning RBS into a people’s bank is a one-time opportunity to fix our broken banking system, and we can't let this government throw it away.
Philip Hammond: Turn RBS into a network of local banks that can invest in the disenfranchised communities that voted Leave.