Government stake in Lloyds sold off to below 9%

Government stake in Lloyds sold off to below 9%

The government has reduced its shareholding in Lloyds Banking Group to less than 9 per cent.

It has started making futher sales of shares through a trading plan, meaning it has recovered nearly £17bn of the £20.3bn which was injected into Lloyds during the financial crisis.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said: “Selling our shares in Lloyds and making sure that we get back all the cash taxpayers injected into it during the financial crisis is one of my top priorities as Chancellor.

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“That is why I am pleased that we have reduced our stake in Lloyds and recovered nearly £17bn for the taxpayer.”

The Lloyds trading plan initially ran from 17 December 2014 to 31 June 2016.

Mr Hammond’s predecessor, George Osborne, had planned to sell the final Lloyds stake in spring this year through an offering to retail and institutional investors, with the former receiving a 5 per cent discount plus a bonus share for every 10 held for more than a year.

But this was put on hold at the beginning of this year because of market volatility.

The government announced on 7 October 2016 that more sales of Lloyds shares would also be made through a trading plan.

At that time Mr Hammond scrapped Mr Osborne’s plans of selling the shares to retail investors completely, citing market volatility.

FCA rules mean Lloyds has to announce when the government’s shareholding crosses through a one percentage point threshold.

The government took a 43.4 per cent stake in Lloyds in 2008 after the bank was hit by credit crunch write-downs of £865m. 

All proceeds from the sales are used to reduce the national debt.