UK Considering Taking An Ax To RBS

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The British government is considering breaking up Royal Bank of Scotland Group, the country's Treasury chief said Wednesday, a potentially radical move that underscores policy makers' mounting frustration with their inability to arrest a five-year banking crisis. George Osborne, the U.K.'s Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the Treasury "will urgently investigate" the case for splitting RBS—which is 81%-owned by the government following a 2008 bailout—into two separate banks: one housing the lender's healthy assets and the other containing its hefty pile of troubled loans and securities. "We will see whether it's right for Britain to, in effect, see RBS broken up," Mr. Osborne said in his annual speech to London's financial community, a black-tie affair that has become a regular venue for unveiling major news about government banking policy. [WSJ]

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