It’s time to actively manage the UK’s stakes in its failed banks on behalf of us all, not just bankers

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The FT has noted:

The spotlight directed on Thursday at UK Financial Investments went down badly in the Treasury. The attention sparked by the resignation of Jim O’Neil, UKFI chief executive, provided an unwelcome reminder of the UK’s tardiness in returning to private sector hands the banks it bailed out at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

For the record, UKFI owns the government's stakes in RBS, Lloyds and other failed banks.

And as usual the FT and Treasury have got this issue wrong. UKFI was set up with the aim of pretending these assets were not state owned, to keep politics out of their management and with the intention of selling them off again.

It's, quite extraordinarily, run by a bunch of bankers.

And all that's just wrong. UKFI should exist to actively manage these assets on behalf of the state for social purposes and to deliver long term gain to all who bailed them out - that's you.

That was a mistake by labour but they could, just, be forgiven for thinking the crisis may not last long. Now we know it has many years still to run. So the time for active engagement has come. And UKFI needs a serious re-vamp to achieve that.