The government plans to sell its stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland, Chancellor George Osborne has announced in his annual Mansion House speech.
Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said the phased sell-off "would promote financial stability" and benefit the wider economy.
The government provided RBS with a £45.5bn bailout in 2008.
But the plan drew criticism from the Unite union, whose members include bank workers.
It said the government was "short changing the public". The government paid 500p a share for RBS, compared with the current price of 354.8p.
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