Taxpayers’ Lloyds Banking Group stake below 15%

THE taxpayer stake in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen to below 15 per cent after the UK government sold another tranche of shares in the lender.

Almost 657 million shares have been sold in Lloyds, reducing the states holding to 14.98 per cent. Picture: Getty

The disposal of almost 657 million shares, reducing the state’s holding to 14.98 per cent, will have raised about £563 million for the Treasury.

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George Osborne, who is aiming to return Lloyds to private hands over the coming year, said the latest sale means the taxpayer has now recouped more than £13 billion of the £20.5bn spent bailing out the group during the financial crash of 2008.

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

The government has been gradually selling its holding in Lloyds to institutional investors through a trading plan that will run until the end of the year. It also plans to launch a multi-billion pound “Tell Sid”-style share sale, open to retail investors, with speculation that the move could take place in March.