Tyrie asks NAO to review RBS sale advice

Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP has asked the NAO to review advice provided by UKFI to the Chancellor ahead of his sale of Royal Bank of Scotland holdings

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Tyrie asks NAO to review RBS sale advice

Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the Treasury Committee, has written to Sir Amyas Morse, comptroller and auditor general, asking the National Audit Office to review the advice provided by UKFI to the Government ahead of its first sale of shares in RBS in August 2015.

The Committee is also publishing correspondence with UKFI about the first sale of RBS holdings.

Commenting on the correspondence, Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, said: “Parliament and the public will want reassurance that the Chancellor’s decision to sell the first tranche of shares in RBS in August 2015 has secured the best value for money for the taxpayer, and was not influenced by political expediency.

“UKFI was created with the intention to ensure that state and partly state-owned banks are run, and seen to be run, free from government interference. UKFI’s advice on this sale is therefore of considerable public interest.

“So I have written to Sir Amyas Morse to ask that the NAO examine the quality of UKFI’s advice, and the extent to which the government adhered to it. It would be helpful if this could be done sooner rather than later.

“The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards – which I chaired – concluded that the Government had interfered in the running of Lloyds and RBS, and that UKFI would increasingly be perceived as a fig leaf to disguise the reality of government control. The Government rejected the Commission’s recommendation that UKFI be wound-up and its resources absorbed back into the Treasury.

“With the NAO’s conclusions to hand, Parliament will be in a position to decide whether the Government’s decision to retain UKFI – which appeared mistaken at the time – requires re-examination.”

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