Government raises £500m from sale of stake in Lloyds

The headquarters of Halifax in YorkshireThe headquarters of Halifax in Yorkshire
The headquarters of Halifax in Yorkshire
The Treasury said it had raised £500m through the sale of a further 1 per cent stake in Lloyds Banking Group, taking its stake to below 24 per cent.

The sale moves Lloyds another step towards a full return to private ownership after the Government pumped £20bn into the Halifax owner during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, leaving it with a 41 per cent shareholding. UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the public stakes in bailed out banks, hired Morgan Stanley in December to sell Lloyds shares on the stock market through a “pre-arranged trading plan”.

The sales since made by Morgan Stanley, all at a price above the 73.6 pence average price that the Government paid, have taken the stake down to 23.9 per cent from 24.9 per cent when the trading plan was launched.

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They also take the total amount raised by the Government so far from selling down its stake in Lloyds to just under £8bn.

“This is further progress in returning Lloyds Banking Group to private ownership, reducing our national debt and getting taxpayers’ money back,” said Chancellor George Osborne.

UKFI had previously raised £7.4bn through two separate sales to financial institutions.

Lloyds is one of the largest private sector employers in Yorkshire.