The UK government stands to own up to 30% of equity in the top four banks- not very different from the level of 33% recommended by the Narasimham committee for public sector banks in India. We are not talking of small, insignificant players. The banks include: LLoyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays. So far, HSBC, Banco Santander and Standard Chartered have said: thanks, no.
The British government intends to have its nominees on boards of banks where it will acquire an equity stake. It could end up being the biggest stakeholder in these banks. And it has already said it will have limits on executive pay and bonuses.
Somebody, please tell me: is this beginning to look like the Indian banking system or not?
PS: After I put up this post, the details of the capital injection have been finalised. The government will inject 37 bn pounds into RBS, Lloyds and HBOS (the latter is being acquired by Lloyds). The move would give the UK government a 60% stake in RBS and 40% in the combined Lloyds-HBOS. The Treasury is expected to appoint 3 new RBS directors and 2 directors to the board of the combined Lloyds-HBOS. There will be restrictions on dividend payments until the banks have repaid 9 bn pounds in preference shares they are issuing to the Treasury.