UK PLC goes from loss to loss

AN UPDATE FROM THE CEO OF UK PLC

I am pleased to confirm record losses from our RBS banking subsidiary, and to announce losses of almost £10 billion at HBOS, where we have a substantial minority stake through the shares we hold in the Lloyds Group.

Some of you may have been disappointed to read that RBS only lost £24 billion as reported, after we had promised you losses of £28 billion. You will be relieved to know that the gross figure revealed on page 6 of the RBS financial statement is I am delighted to say £40.7billion, another new record for such a figure.

In order to consolidate our investment in these excellent loss making businesses I have decided to put more capital into RBS, and to make available guarantees to the Lloyds Group which I hope they will accept.

Our policy of “Putting the losses back into British business and banking” is going so well, that it is a good idea to double up our position. I am therefore committing up to an additional £25.5 billion of new capital into RBS, and will be guaranteeing hundreds of billions of pounds of bad and doubtful debts and investments on your behalf. The opportunities to lose money are unparalleled and it would be a pity to miss out at such a time.

It is now clear that the merger which we urged on Lloyds with HBOS has been a brilliant manoeuvre as part of our strategy, giving us the chance to have a substantial stake in a larger group which now has great scope to record losses on a material part of its business.

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9 Comments

  1. oldrightie
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The CEO continued;
    “At the right moment and that is to be my decision alone, we will pour petrol on these losses and torch the UK plc in one final act of supreme incompetence. We shall, of course, have our Swiss Franc pension accounts fully secured beforehand.”

  2. alan jutson
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Too many of these JR and the Press will start to believe that you really are over the moon with the news.

    I suppose we can always hope that RBS and Lloyds eventually make enough profit so we can sell off the shares, and then we can all take our profit, but I am afraid it may be too late for me. Do you think I should mention them in my Will.

    Any idea what inducement or arguement the Government made to Lloyds to get them to take over HBOS without the normal checks. (Cheques)

    The more this goes on the more revolutionary the response has to be from the next Government to our entire Regulation, Tax and Benefits System.

  3. David Belchamber
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the gallows humour. We need a laugh these days but I fear we also need regular reminders of the correct state of play, not Gordon Brown’s. Can you suggest any legitimate reason for all the off-balance sheet items (PFIs etc)? If not , we should be adding them back in to show that government debt is well over 100% – and rising!

  4. Victor, NW Kent
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Delightful satire John but regrettably it is all too true.

  5. Ian Jones
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Maybe a good idea if your plan is to shift as much money from England to Scotland as possible before declaring independence…….. just a thought.

    • chris southern
      Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Sounds about right from this currnet goverment.

  6. Adam Collyer
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m beginning to think the Lloyds shareholders may have grounds to sure either their board or the Government over this. What do you think?

    Reply: Not easy – remember the shareholders voted for this deal.Some of us spoke out against it at the time but were not shareholders .

  7. THE ESSEX BOYS
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Sell your scripts to Rory Bremner…PRICELESS!

  8. Lola
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    “Our business model that is designed to deliver the best possible level of wealth destruction is now well on track this year to deliver the absolutely worst figures. A considerable success after only 11 years since we launched, I think you will agree”

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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