The government is selling 7.7 per cent of its shares in RBS
They bailed the banks out in 2008, and now they're ready to give them back
The government said they're selling off a 7.7 per cent stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
What it means: We tried to resist writing about this cuz, well, bank share stories are dull, but it's a headline everywhere for a reason.
The government owns 70 per cent of RBS at the moment. It bailed the bank out (i.e. bought up lots of shares that no-one wanted with taxpayer money so the bank could keep functioning) after the crash, and this year, the bank has made a profit for the very first time since then.
To celebrate, the government are selling off £2bn worth of shares, and hoping to sell another £13bn worth by 2023. It's all part of a move to privatise the bank again, which means making it majority owned by individuals rather than the government (because they think it'll be more efficient that way).
But some people, notably the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, don't think it's a good move. The bank bought those shares for almost double what they're selling them for now, so he says taxpayers are losing out on their investment.