Stephen Hester: RBS sale 'could take a decade'

The outgoing chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Stephen Hester, has revealed that it could take up to a decade for the taxpayer to be paid back their £45bn stake in the bank.

In his first newspaper interview since the surprise announcement last week that he was quitting, Mr Hester said that privatising RBS was a long-term project that could stretch to 2023.

Burma_Zen: I think RBS should be closed immediately and the criminals in charge arrested to face the Courts. There will be no economic recovery without the closure of half of the banks as the cost to business in sustaining these criminals is very high.

zeehan: Fred Goodwin and his ilk should have been dropped in a tank full of hungry piranhas.

mike200: The banking industry is rotten to the core, the poor slaves who man the branches see nothing of the rewards reaped by people like Goodwin, and dozens of other gravy train riding scum. There is no honour in banking:I doubt there ever has been.

David Camerpong: "A Tehran court has sentenced to death four people convicted in Iran's biggest-ever banking scandal,…" That would concentrate Fred Goodwin's mind!!! should've voted…President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad !!!!!!!!

mrrob: Nice one David. The Chinese don't piss about rewarding failure either

bill40: So both Hester and Tucker have resigned with indecent haste. I wonder what the connection is?

beech: Four years to defeat Kaiser Wilhelm II's Germany. Six years to defeat Hitler's Germany. Fifteen years to sort out Fred Goodwin's RBS.

dwwilcox:  the only problem with your analysis is that UK did not and could not defeat Hitler by itself

beech: True, but then the problem which had to be overcome was the whole of Germany and the other Axis powers, rather than just one bank.

marquisdemoo: In financial terms it took 60 years to pay for the war.

mrrob: Yes, and look at Germany now !

hcdevine: Ten years: probably enough time to hide the losses in a series of restructuring transactions/charges and some "funny" accounting with merging out parts and selling others for high face value amounts which have substantially smaller economic substance. Some shares could be distributed to the taxpayers directly in settlement for tax payments where in lieu of paying X pounds of cash taxes an individual or corporation could buy RBS shares at an inflated price with a mandatory holding period so the market is not flooded with loose shares. The shares could be ordinary or could be perpetual preferred with a very low coupon rate or a PIK coupon. While this type of structure creates financial overhang it has been used before to cover up a disaster. The good bank, bad bank structure requires too much truthful disclosure about the realities of RBS… and nobody in government wants the truth to be told. There's room for plenty of creativity here to hide the dead elephant in the room and hide the fact that RBS does not really need to exist: the other banks can and have in large part filled most of the gaps created by RBS being sidelined… except the gap of huge uneconomic trades which continue to haunt the RBS balance sheet and contingencies account. Worst of all… management, the key employees and the trading contract partners made an absolute killing on and from RBS, and none of their ill-gotten gains will ever be repaid to the ignorant passive taxpayer.

stephenmarchant: hcdevine, You are absolutely right. This is all about covering the tracks of those who have milched the bank. The taxpayers will be told they have got their money back by 'clever' accounting. In the meantime the Govt is desperate for cash and will slice off a bit of RBS for a pre election spree.

MrBishi: Only George Osborne would think it a good thing to bribe the UK electorate with their own shares.

frothymouth: Osborne needs the  electoral bribe in less than 2 years not 10 !

chris_xxxx: Government owns 81% of RBS. Break-even price after fees paid back is 440p Total RBS shares is 11,212 million. Government shares =9081 million. Government's stake in RBS is worth: Wednesday at 331p = £30 billion. Thursday at 312.50= £28.38 billion. Before at 440p = £40 billion. Loss of £10 billion. (Wednesday) Loss of £11.62 billion (Thursday) George's decision to remove Hester has lost the tax payer another £1.62 billion.

observer20: Just add in 5 years payment of interest on the money borrowed for the bail out and you'll get  another 6bn or so loss. Ten years more to get the original investment back? So that'll be another 10bn or so loss.

noncombatant: The financial industry has long commented that having been bailed out and spruced up (a bit) the bank (RBS)should be returned to the private sector because Government is not good at running banks. This translates as "Now that it's getting better, give us it back at a knock down price so that we can ride the wave and make billions" This is what the government is about to do - at our expense - in the vain hope that we will see it as a bung of "free" money to sweeten us up to vote them in again in 2015. All personal gain at other people's expense - The only thing Bankers and Politicians are good at (or should that be good for ?)

whatamimissing: "If" the ultimately desired proceeds are £45 Bn. But we know that is not Gideon's Game. 20% of that would give him a £9Bn election bribe package and he will probably settle for £5Bn to give away in the pre-election budget. No long term thinking in a British politician.

Alex: Now we know why he was fired, Dave cannot wait 10 years,he wants loads a money - now! So he bribe the voters. The new boss will be someone who can get rid of RBS and fast.

ExasperatedMe: Thanks to you Brown Balls

llandudno: I do not like to see redundancies, but the removal of 2,000 staff within the investment bank is a good move. These rogues were put in place by Fred, they are very high paid conmen taught by the previous conmen, 2,000 of these people will save the bank £1billion + p.a just in wages and bonuses, also hester has agreed it is a long term exit over a decade, this should ensure these type of people do not return, these guys thought up PPI, Libor, Swaps misselling and many others, without these parasites the bank should return to profit.