Millions of people in the UK could receive shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group under new proposals by the think-tank, Policy Exchange.
In its 'Privatising the Banks: Creating a new generation of shareholders' report, the think tank has called on the Government to distribute shares in both banks available to taxpayers.
By distributing up to £34 billion of its overall £48 billion worth of shares in both banks, Policy Exchange believes the Government would be able to reprivatise both banks at a better price than via a more 'traditional' method of sale.
Under the plans issued by Policy Exchange, 50-55% and 30% of shares in RBS and Lloyds respectively would be made available to taxpayers at no initial cost or risk, working out at between £1,100 and £1,650 per person.
The Government has for some time expressed its intentions to sell off its stakes in RBS and Lloyds before the next general election in 2015, with the Prime Minister, David Cameron, claiming that he "is open to all ideas" with regard to the reprivatisation.
Both banks were bailed out by the Government during the height of the financial crisis in 2008. RBS is currently 82% owned by the taxpayer, whilst Lloyds Banking Group is 40% state owned.
In a statement, Policy Exchange said: "We urge the Chancellor to take this method and apply it to both RBS and Lloyds giving the taxpayer an opportunity to profit from both and get the banks back into the private sector, where they belong".
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