RBS Should Be Fully Nationalized to Boost Lending, Unions Urge

U.K. labor unions called for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to be fully nationalized so the government can transform it into a state investment bank with the aim of financing industry.

The Edinburgh-based lender, 82 percent state-owned, should be taken wholly into public hands with a new mandate and the ability to issue bonds, the Trades Union Congress said.

“The remit of the bank could then be changed from maximizing short-term shareholder value (and consequently shrinking its balance sheet) to supporting long-term growth,” the TUC said in a statement as it prepares to begin its annual conference tomorrow in Brighton, England.

The TUC, which represents about 6.5 million workers, is seeking to get its members on the remuneration committees of banks to tackle “the culture of bonuses entitlement,” it said. Compensation above 250,000 pounds ($400,000) a year should be considered to come from company profit and be subject to corporation tax, it said.

The group also urged the government to lift funding restrictions on the Green Investment Bank so it can promote clean and renewable energy.

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