Value of taxpayer’s holding in British banks plummets

Taxpayers are sitting on losses of nearly £11 billion from the government’s ‘investments’ in Britain’s banks, the body charged with overseeing them admitted yesterday. John Kingman, chief executive of UK Financial Investments, said every family in the country now had more than £3,000 invested in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. The value of those holdings has plunged to £24 billion since the government stepped in, although the situation is considerably better than it was in February, when the unrealised loss stood at £18 billion. The report says taxpayers’ losses at Lloyds at the end of June stood at £6.2 billion, with RBS worth £4.7 billion less than when the Government stepped in. The taxpayer has a 70 per cent stake in RBS and 43.3 per cent of Lloyds, but this is set to increase through the two banks’ involvement in the Treasury-backed asset protection scheme to cover them against what could be multibillion-pound losses on bad loans.