Monday, May 16, 2011

Stephen Williams' plan to give away bank shares may go ahead

In March Stephen Williams wrote a pamphlet for CentreForum endorsing a plan drawn up Portman Capital partners, under which each UK citizen would receive about 1450 shares in RBS and 440 in Lloyds. These would be worth more than £900 at current market prices.

A story on the CNBC site today suggests that the government is also attracted to the plan:
Government ministers and civil servants have been concerned by the possible effect a mass sell-off of the state's shares would have on the overall market and in particular on the banks in question.

1 comment:

iain said...

Forgive me but this is bonkers, this is the Yelsin plan all over again, it is repeating the disaster of the de-mutualisation of building society. Such shares will be a temporary windfall for taxpayers who will soon sell them on as they did with the privatisation share issues and the two examples above.
Surely the Liberal plan would be to launch mutual banks, where-like the the best employee ownership schemes- many of the shares could not be traded. This would lock the value into the members and mean that the banks would concentrate on developing services for their members rather than building shareholder value for the absent owners. Of all western capitalist countries Britain does have the worst record on ownership. Directors have to pay no regard to any other stakeholder other than the owners of capital. For a century Liberals have rallied against this dumb idea and the short term perspective that it fosters. Now we seem to be advocating expanding the very crude market economics that caused the crash. I guess that is what happens if you contract out your policy development to a think tank funded by a hedge fund