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UK may give the public shares in bailed-out banks

Nick Clegg backs plan for every voter to be issued with shares in RBS and Lloyds.

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wants to give the public shares in bailed-out banks
UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wants to give the public shares in bailed-out banks
Image: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE UK’S DEPUTY Prime Minister has backed a proposal that the public be allowed to share ownership of banks.

Nick Clegg is quoted by the BBC on a trip to Brazil as saying that British taxpayers who have bailed out banks like the RBS and Lloyds should be given a financial stake in such institutions. He said:

Psychologically it is immensely important that the British people feel they have not just been overlooked and ignored… I think, in a sense, as a society we are condemned to take an interest in our banking system.

The reward for being “condemned” to paying attention to what’s happening in the banks, he argues, should be the option to have a financial stake in the bank. As shareholders, members of the public would then have some control over the direction of the banks.

The Guardian reports that the plan is to distribute shares to everyone on the electoral roll or on the national insurance register. That would involve around 1,450 shares in RBS per person and 450 shares in Lloyds, worth around €865.

Poll: Should the Irish public be given shares in bailed-out banks? Vote here>

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