Government sells another £500m of Lloyds shares

Government sells another £500m of Lloyds shares

The government has sold another £500m of Lloyds Banking Group shares, taking the total amount of money raised through the trading plan launched in December to over £1bn.

These sales and the dividend announced by Lloyds last week will bring the total amount recovered for the taxpayer from Lloyds to approximately £8.5bn, meaning the state’s stake in the bank has reduced from around 40 per cent in 2009 to below 23 per cent today.

All shares sold through the trading plan have gone above the average price the previous government paid for them, which was 73.6p.

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Chancellor George Osborne said: “These sales are part of our plan to return Lloyds to the private sector and get taxpayers’ money back; the proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt.”

The trading plan will end no later than 30 June and saw a further £500m of Lloyds shares sold at the end of February.

As required by Financial Conduct Authority rules, Lloyds announced today that the government’s shareholding in the bank had crossed through a one percentage point threshold.

This therefore notifies the market that the government has reduced its shareholding in Lloyds to below 23 per cent.