23rd February 2015
The government has sold-off a further £500m of Lloyds Banking Group shares the Chancellor George Osborne has today confirmed.
The latest sell-off means that the total amount of money recovered for the taxpayer from the bank now sits at just under £8bn and that the government’s stake in the bank has reduced from around 40% to 24%.
During the height of the financial crisis, in 2009 the government stepped into rescue Lloyds by taking 43.4% stake in the group.
Osborne said government remains committed to restoring Lloyds to private ownership in a way, which gets the best value for the taxpayer. All shares sold through the trading plan have been sold above the average price the previous government paid for them, which was 73.6p.
Osborne said: “This is further progress in returning Lloyds Banking Group to private ownership, reducing our national debt and getting taxpayers’ money back.
“The trading plan and its success are only made possible by our long-term economic plan, which is delivering a more secure and resilient economy.”
The trading plan, which was launched on 17 December 2014, involves gradually selling shares in the market over time. The plan will continue for approximately four months, ending no later than 30 June.
This is a key week for Lloyds, as it reports its full year results on Friday and shareholders are hoping to hear some positive news on its return to the dividend register. Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown says: “With the current government keen to sell its remaining share stake in order to bolster the national finances, any news of the group’s talks with the Prudential Regulatory Authority regarding a resumption of the dividend payment heads the agenda. A payment in the region of one penny per share is currently forecast.”