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Rbs Prepares Bank For State Exit In 2011 - Report

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Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) aims to put the conditions in place for the British government to start selling its 83 percent stake in the bank next year, its chief executive said, according to German paper Welt am Sonntag.

The sale "won't be conducted in one go," Chief Executive Stephen Hester told the paper.

"But I would be disappointed if there would not be the first steps towards privatisation next year," he added.

RBS is still nursing its wounds after it was caught in the maelstrom of the financial crisis, but it beat expectations with a return to profit in the first three months of the year.

It is reversing a decade-long international expansion drive and has raised over $2.5 billion (1.6 billion pounds) from exiting or selling over 20 businesses in the last 14 months.

The bank will leave all sectors, such as global retail banking, in which it cannot establish itself among the market leaders, Hester told the paper.

It is also selling some of the parts of Dutch Bank ABN Amro it bought in 2007, as the takeover was "clearly a big mistake," he said.

The strategy of the bank is paying off and it has gained new leeway to act, Hester said.

In Germany the bank is concentrating on large corporations and middle-sized companies with an international presence, as volumes are shrinking because more banks get involved in individual transactions, he said.

Introducing stricter rules for loans as a consequence of the financial crisis is the right thing to do, he said, but it means that fewer companies get loans and that prices for borrowers are rising.

"That's the price for a stable economy," he said, the paper reported.

The recovering economy or wishful thinking?

Place your bets.

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The recovering economy or wishful thinking?

Place your bets.

Probably wishful thinking. But they have to carry on as if something amounts to success. Certainly the biggest margins in banking history due to low base rate rip off on savers is one factor. As they are advising their 'investors' that we are on the edge of a banking cliff edge, it is all the more strange.

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