The move signals the latest stage in the Government’s controversial privatisation of the postal group through an initial public offering (IPO), under which the public will be able to buy shares through a retail offer on the same terms as institutional investors.
Firms have now been invited to apply to act as intermediaries for the retail element of the sale, to deal with the sale of shares to the public.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “This is another step towards our commitment to sell shares in Royal Mail in this financial year. A sale will give Royal Mail the commercial freedom it needs to thrive and to secure the universal postal service.
“The retail offer will be an important part of the overall IPO. Members of the public will be able to apply for Royal Mail shares easily and simply, either through intermediaries or, on the same terms, directly to Government.”
The retail offer will be supported by a Government advertising campaign.
The Communication Workers Union is set to ballot postal workers for industrial action over pay, pensions, jobs and other issues linked to privatisation unless an agreement can be reached in the coming weeks.
The ballot will be held before the end of September.
Read more on the Royal Mail sell-off