Following the speech by the Chancellor, George Osborne, at the annual Mansion House dinner on Wednesday, the Government raised another £750 million off the back of its Royal Mail stake sell-off, and yet announced that it is planning to further sell £32bn of its assets in the Royal Bank of Scotland in the following months.
In response to this news, Andy Thompson, Director of Operational Policy and Research at the Wealth Management Association, comments: “The industry welcomes any effort from the Government to help minimise the UK’s public debt. Nonetheless, it remains a mystery to us why retail investors were excluded from participating in the initiative. Royal Mail shares should have been made available to everyone, but especially to retail investors as it is a retail-focused enterprise.
“In general, the retail investor community can provide much needed liquidity and offer loyalty to companies they invest in. The Government needs people that make responsible investments and look to the long-term future.
"In 2013 for instance, 690,000 individual investors benefited when the Government raised just under £2 billion from selling 60 per cent of Royal Mail, which shows this can be a positive move for the economy. Only 20 per cent of those investors sold their Royal Mail allocation within the first month of trading.
“Let us hope that when the time comes to sell off RBS Government assets, retail investors will be offered the same opportunities as big institutions. By doing so, the Government will be setting a really good example to corporate advisers. If retail investors are not to be included, those involved should be under an obligation to tell us why not.”