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Shareholder Executive and UK Financial Investments to merge

21 May 15

The two government bodies that manage most of the taxpayer’s stakes in business are to be merged into a single company, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

Making the announcement at the CBI annual dinner last night Osborne said the Shareholder Executive (ShEx) and UK Financial Investments (UKFI) will be brought together as one company to be known as UK Government Investments (UKGI).

ShEx manages government interventions in the private sector in order to secure best value for the taxpayer, while UKFI runs the Treasury’s shareholdings in the bailed-out banks.

Merging the two bodies will allow government experts to work together in preparation for the sale of a wide range of publicly-owned assets, including shares in Lloyds Banking Group, UK Asset Resolution assets, Eurostar and the pre-2012 income contingent repayment student loan book.

The chancellor said the government plans to deliver ‘the biggest ever sale of publicly-owned corporate and financial assets in 2015/16, exceeding £23bn in real terms for the first time’.

He said: ‘If we want a more productive economy, let’s get the government out of the business of owning great chunks of our banking system – and indeed other assets that should be in the private sector.

The transition to the new company will take place over the coming months, with the aim that it is fully up and running by the autumn.

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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