Taxpayer stake in Lloyds falls below 14%

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The taxpayer’s holding in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen below 14 per cent after the UK government sold another 1 per cent slice of the lender.

George Osborne said the latest sale means the Treasury has recouped almost £14 billion of the £20bn used to bail out the bank following its disastrous acquisition of HBOS.

The Chancellor said: “I am determined to build on this success, and to continue to return Lloyds to the private sector and reduce our national debt.”

Lloyds last week said it has added £1.4bn to its bill for compensating customers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), taking its total provision to £13.4bn.

But the group was still able to report a 38 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the first half of the year to £1.19bn and announce a 0.75p dividend for shareholders, amounting to £535 million.

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