According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the two banks have been encouraging talks between investors in a bid to encourage interest in the shares before an actual sale takes place.
Although representatives from the two institutions are not selling the government-owned shares as yet, they are assisting potential investors âget up to speedâ on the portfolios and thesis behind each institution, the source told the news provider.
The WSJ stated that the UK Financial Investments, the body responsible for managing the government stakes, has yet to give the go-ahead for a sale, but has provided âtacitâ approval upon talks taking place.
In an interview with a German magazine during 2010, Stephen Hester, chief executive officer at RBS, said he would be âdisappointedâ if the government did not begin the sale of its stake during 2011.
RBS is currently 84 per cent owned by the British authorities while Lloyds is 42 per cent publicly owned.
By Jim Ottewill