The UK taxpayer should benefit from the RBS bailout, believes CEO Stephen Hester.
“To maintain support for the banking system is in the best interest of the public.” He added that he believes this is “achievable” while speaking at the British Banker’s Association conference.
Reports say that the government is going to sell shares of the state owned bank at a discount to the public. This should begin in 2011.
Although, the recent concerns about European debt and a remaining unstable global economy have pulled share value lower and the sale rumors have died down.
As Hester believes it is important for the taxpayer to benefit, just the same, he made sure to emphasize that it is also not in the public interest to hobble the banking industry. He also mentioned not being careless about misdiagnosing the causes of the crisis because it could lead to policy mistakes in the future.
Hester also reiterated that, banks were not the only players within the game. All taxpayers have seen benefits, so it works both ways.
While Hester thinks banks should remain their current size, business secretary Vince Cable, is still in opposition. Size, nor diversity of products offered, was a main reason of a failed bank. HSBC chairman Stephen Green also believes that exercise speculation or proprietary trading activities were reasons for a bank demise.
While the economy still remains in a recovery phase, taxpayers will continue to optimistically wait on the sidelines.