Britain Now Owns Majority Share of RBS
Failed rights issue leaves banking giant in taxpayer hands
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2008 6:44 AM CST
A branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland is seen in London, in this Friday, Nov. 14, 2008 file photo. The British government now owns a 57.9% stake in the country's second-largest bank.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE)
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(Newser) – The Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the giants of British banking, confirmed today that taxpayers now own a majority share following a $30 billion government bailout, reports the Guardian. The country's No. 2 bank failed to raise sufficient cash via a $22.5 billion rights issue, with only 1 in 400 shares finding a buyer. Treasury has bought 57.9% of the business and also acquired $7.5 billion in preference shares, which must be paid off before ordinary shareholders can receive dividends.