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Harriett Baldwin questions due diligence on price Government paid to buy RBS

13th June 2013

Harriett Baldwin calls for the Government to get out of banking business as soon as possible and asks what due diligence was done on the price the Government paid to buy RBS shares in the first place?

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con): As the Minister knows, I think the sooner the Government get out of the banking business, the better. There has been a lot of discussion today about the price at which they should do that. What has the Minister been able to discover about the due diligence that was done on the price the Government paid to buy RBS shares in the first place?

Sajid Javid: My hon. Friend raises a good point, and it is actually quite easy to find out—although I do not think the previous Government wanted to advertise it, and nor do I think the current Opposition want us to continue highlighting it—that when RBS was bailed out, the then Government overpaid by over £12 billion and wrote that off at that time. They did the same in the interventions in Lloyds bank and Northern Rock, and, as we know, all this was a direct result of the previous Government’s failure to regulate our banking and financial system properly.

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