Treasury minister Sajid Javid: RBS can now prepare for privatisation

RBS shares have dropped more than seven per cent following the announcement that Stephen Hester will be stepping down as group chief executive later this year. Shares opened four per cent lower on Thursday before taking a further plunge. The move decreased the value of the taxpayer stake in the bank by more than £1.5bn.

In the House of Commons, Treasury minister Sajid Javid said RBS could now prepare for a return to the private sector in a way that ensures value for the taxpayer. However, the fall in share price could make this more difficult.

Speaking in front of the bank's AGM, meanwhile, Chairman Philip Hampton says RBS is aiming to be in a position to begin privatisation by the end of 2014.

Speaking at 10am this morning, head of strategy at Tradenext Ronnie Chopra said RBS shares were being traded under value, and that any price under 300p represents a buying opportunity for long-term investors. “Everyone is replaceable and he [Hester] is no exception.

At the Commons, Javid also confirmed Hester’s payout, potentially worth £5.8m, consisting of a year’s salary of £1.6m and share awards worth up to £4.2m.