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UK Gov’t Sells More Lloyds Bank Shares

Sale of shares means the taxpayer now owns only 7.99%  of the bank.Sale of shares means the taxpayer now owns only 7.99%  of the bank.

The government has reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group to just below 8%, as it continues to try and return the lender to full private ownership.

It means the taxpayer now owns only 7.99% of the bank, down from the 43% share it held following the lender’s bailout at the height of the financial crisis, BBC reported.

Sales were suspended in January because of market volatility. But UK Financial Investments, which manages the government’s stake, said last month it would resume sales.

However, it abandoned plans for a share sale to the public, saying current market volatility meant the move was not sensible. Instead, the government is now continuing to offload the holding to institutional investors.

“Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back,” Lloyds said in a statement.

The bank received £20.5 billion ($25.59 billion) in total from the government during the financial crisis. The government has recouped more than £17 billion of that money since UKFI began selling the stake off in 2013.

Philip Hammond said: “Selling our shares in Lloyds Banking Group 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.” All proceeds from the sales will be used to reduce the national debt.

The government has progressively sold down its original 43% stake in Lloyds and in October ditched plans for a share sale to the public, opting instead to offload the holding to institutional investors.

Last month Lloyds said it had set aside another £1 billion to meet compensation claims for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance as it attempts to draw a line under the scandal.

A Lloyds spokesman said: “Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back.”

 

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