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Britain's Labour says it would halt RBS privatisation

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Britain's Labour party would halt the privatisation of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) if it came to power but would not seek to exert day-to-day control, the opposition party's shadow banking minister told Reuters. RBS remains 62 percent owned by British taxpayers after a 45 billion pound ($58.3 billion) bailout in the 2008 financial crisis, although the Conservative government has conducted two share sales as it looks to return it to private ownership. Labour's plans for the bank are among scores of policies in sharper focus as turmoil over Brexit raises the chances of a change in government, although the latest poll from research consultancy Opinium shows the left-wing party has dropped seven points behind the Conservatives. RBS shareholders voted on Wednesday to approve the bank's plans to begin buying back its shares from the government in order to accelerate a return to majority private ownership, with more than 98 percent backing the proposal. When asked at the general meeting if RBS was rushing the resolution through due to concerns about Labour winning power, chairman Howard Davies denied this was the case, adding: "They will have to speak for themselves."

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