Lloyds edges closer to full private ownership

lloyds-bank-branch

Lloyds Banking Group has edged closer to full private ownership after the UK government sold down its stake to less than 2 per cent.

At the height of the financial crisis £20.3 billion of taxpayers' money was spent to rescue the lender, amounting to a 43 per cent stake.

Over the past couple of years the government's shareholding has gradually been reduced, recovering more than £18 billion.

The shares have been sold to institutions, as the government has gone back on its promise to press ahead with a public sale. Former chancellor George Osborne pledged to sell £4 billion worth of shares at a 5 per cent discount.

The plan, however, was subsequently delayed by Osborne, who cited 'market volatility', before being completely shelved by his replacement Philip Hammond, the current chancellor.

RECOUPING TAXPAYER CASH

The share sale had promised to be 'the biggest privatisation in 20 years' in the Conservative Party's 2015 election manifesto.

All proceeds from the share sale will be used to reduce national debt.

Simon Kirby, economic secretary to the treasury, said: ‘I welcome this further progress in returning Lloyds to the private sector. We have now recovered over £20bn for the taxpayer and are very close to recovering all of the money taxpayers injected into the bank during the financial crisis.’ 


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