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Bank company announced by government

A newly set-up company will look after the government's shareholdings in major banks, the Treasury has announced.The "arm's-length" company, named UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), will be wholly owned by the government."Its overarching objectives will be to protect and create value for the taxpayer as shareholder, with due regard to financial stability and acting in a way that promotes competition", according to the Treasury statement.UKFI is also intended to foster a culture where the banks' management look at long-term strength and do not provide rewards for failure.The government is set to have shareholdings in RBS and the newly-merged HBOS and Lloyds TSB, assuming the merger deal between the two goes ahead.Recapitalisation of these banks will also be overseen by the company, including encouraging lending levels to get back to their 2007 values.The statement stressed that the government will push lenders to do "everything they can to support homeowners and small business during this period of financial market turbulence".

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