State holding in Lloyds falls below 17%

The taxpayer stake in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen to below 17 per cent following the sale of another tranche of shares in the lender.

The sale of more than 700 million shares, reducing the UK government’s holding to 16.87 per cent, will have raised about £600 million for the Treasury.

George Osborne said earlier this month in his Mansion House speech that he wants to return Lloyds to the private sector over the coming year.

The Chancellor is also planning to kick-start the sale of shares in Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 79 per cent owned by the taxpayer.