Mark Carney calls for clarity on future shape of RBS

THE new governor of the Bank of England (BoE) has claimed it is vital that the uncertainty shrouding the future of majority taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland be dispelled urgently.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. Picture: Getty

City banking analysts said yesterday that Mark Carney’s reported concerns could be seen as high-level pressure to speed up the publication of a report from the Treasury and financial experts to Chancellor George Osborne on whether RBS should be broken up into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ banks.

The report into whether RBS’s toxic assets should be hived off, called for by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, is being compiled for the government by financial advisors Rothschild and BlackRock, and is due to be published this autumn.

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Carney said in an interview: “It is absolutely imperative that the uncertainty around RBS is dissipated, absolutely imperative.”

Carney, former head of the Canadian central bank, said he had a view on what should be done with RBS, 81 per cent state-owned, but would only share it with “someone in a position of authority”.

The governor, who took over at the Bank from Lord King on 1 July, has said it is important to boost the amount of bank lending to new and existing businesses to consolidate the gathering UK economic recovery.

RBS, including its NatWest subsidiary, is the biggest lender to smaller businesses in the country, with a market share of 24 per cent, but accounting for 35 per cent of SME loans and overdraft balances outstanding.