20th April 2015
Some £4bn worth of Lloyds Bank shares would be offered to retail investors at a discount price if the Conservatives win the election, Prime Minister David Cameron has told the BBC.
The offer would be part of the £9bn sale announced in the Budget in March.
The proposed sale would mark the biggest privatisation since the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government sold-off almost £4bn of BT shares and £5.6bn of British Gas stock. in the famous
Cameron said it would “help us recover billions more to pay down the national debt”.
However, the report highlighted that Labour said the Conservatives have announced such plans at least seven times before.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said he would be “happy to have a look at” the plan as long as it would not lead to big institutional investors “making a killing”.
Under Cameron’s proposed offer investors would get a discount of 5% on the market price at time of sale, with the minimum purchase set at £250 and maximum at £10,000.
The government bailed out Lloyds at the height of the financial crisis and already its stake has been halved from 43% to 22%. Earlier this year the bank returned to the dividend register for the first time since its rescue.
Shares in Lloyds are presently trading at circa 79p, having risen by 7% in the past year.