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Government to give us a grand

Since the Royal Wedding, there's not been much good news in banking but today is a positive day.

What could be positive about banks and banking?

The fact that there is a growing recognition that not all is foul in the pond of finance.

For example, there is the great news today that the government plans to sell their stake in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds in the future, and give every adult in Britain a £1,000 bonus as a gift.

Now I said a while ago that the government would make a sale as a package deal in the run-up to the next general election, as giving back the money from our bank bailout is a sure fire vote winner.

So doing this around the 2013 timeline is quite likely.

And it’s not a new idea.

The idea was originally proposed in a paper from Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams and Portman Capital back in March.

The idea is an interesting one, but the practicalities of distributing shares in the banks to 46 million taxpayers is challenging.

Who is eligible for shares and who is ineligible, and why?

Will the public understand what they’re getting, what they’re worth and how to use the investment wisely, or will the majority just sell whatever they get to turn a quick buck?

If the latter, do we end up with 44 million adults selling shares in the banks to the 2 million who are wise enough to hold out for a year and see a doubling of the investment?

There are many other challenging questions, but it’s interesting to see that the Conservative Party are now taking this Lib Dem idea seriously as their Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) now supports the idea, as does Lord Saatchi, Chair of the CPS, and senior conservative policymakers including Matthew Hancock, George Osborne's former chief of staff.

If I were a betting man, I’d therefore bet that every voter in Britain is gifted £1,000 of bank shares before the next general election.

What a good idea.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • It was their money to begin with

    Seriously – you’re concerned about poor judgement of the masses in how to use money?? As opposed to the sound judgement of the professionals that created the miasma? Really?

  • Boggler

    Well, Australia was able to give every taxpayer $1000 about two and a half years ago as part of an economic stimulas payment. Everyone who paid at least $1 in tax the previous year was able to recieve the bonus. There was a correspnding jump in the sales of widescreen flat panel TV’s that month…