The UK taxpayer may never recoup the £66bn spent on bailing out Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group, MPs have warned.
The Public Accounts Committee's report on the sale of Northern Rock said the government lacks the skills and resources needed to carry out a successful sell off of its stakes in the two banks.
Chairman of the committee of public accounts Margaret Hodge said: "Once UKFI decided to sell the bank, the sale was handled well, but the taxpayer still lost nearly half a billion pounds. There were only two bidders and it was fortunate that Virgin Money was particularly keen to buy.
"The lack of competition does not fill us with confidence that the taxpayer will make a profit on the sale of the two banks which remain in public ownership, RBS and Lloyds. There is a risk that the £66bn invested in RBS and Lloyds may never be recovered."
She added: "It is vital that the final decisions on the wholly owned banks are made with value to the taxpayer taking precedence over speed of exit.
"This will not be the last banking crisis, and the next one is likely to be different. The Treasury must ensure it retains the right staff with the right skills to understand the risks and respond effectively.
"It needs to learn the lessons from the creation and sale of Northern Rock and make sure that these are applied in future, including to any sale of RBS and Lloyds."
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