RBS and LLoyds set to reveal losses

RBSBailed-out banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds will this week fuel fears that it will take years for taxpayers to get their money back.

The previous government injected £65.5 billion - more than £1,000 per citizen - to prop up the two lenders in the hope they would repay the loans with interest. But nearly four years on, the taxpayers' stake is worth just £36 billion.
The banks are set to reveal combined losses of at least £4 billion on Thursday and Friday as they bear the brunt of the eurozone debt crisis and the increased regulation being heaped on them.

The annual results will underline the scale of the struggle faced to turn around the banks, with one analyst suggesting that the Government needs to consider selling at least some of its stake at a loss.

Plans to give the shares directly to taxpayers to ease some of the public anger about the pay enjoyed by bailed-out bankers are reported to have been ditched because the investments are too shaky.

The Government injected £45.5 billion for its 82% stake in RBS but those shares are now worth around £26 billion despite a 40% rise in the share price in recent weeks.

It needs shares, which are currently trading at about 28p, to rise to 50p before it can break even.

It is a similar story at Lloyds, which benefited from a £20 billion bailout. The taxpayer needs shares to rise to 63p to get its money back but they are currently trading at around 35p, leaving the Government nursing losses of nearly £10 billion, although £2.5 billion has already been repaid.

The bank recoveries have been made more difficult because the Government has announced drastic reforms of the sector, including forcing banks to separate their retail and investment banking arms, which will cost them money to implement and hit profits. And the current malaise in the world economy and the Greek debt crisis has added to woes.

RBS is expected to announce on Thursday that it has made underlying losses of £2 billion, while Lloyds is set to reveal losses of as much as £3.5 billion on Friday after compensation for mis-selling payment protection insurance is deducted.

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