UK welcomes deal to free RBS from dividend access share

LONDON, April 9 Wed Apr 9, 2014 1:06pm EDT

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LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Britain's finance minister said an agreement for part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland to cancel a government-owned share that stops it paying dividends would help taxpayers to get their money back.

RBS was rescued through a 45.5 billion pound ($76.21 billion) government bailout during the 2008/9 financial crisis, leaving taxpayers holding an 81 percent stake in the bank.

European regulators on Wednesday agreed a proposal that would see RBS buy itself out of the dividend access share, which gives the state priority over dividends and has been seen as a major obstacle to full privatisation.

"This is another important step on the road to a more resilient banking system and in dealing with the problems of the past to get taxpayer's money back," Chancellor George Osborne said in a statement on Wednesday.

($1 = 0.5971 British Pounds) (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Simon Jessop)

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