The UK government said its has now recovered more than £18 billion of the £20.3 billion that taxpayers injected into the Lloyds Banking Group — owner of the Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows and Halifax brands — during the financial crisis.
The Treasury said that its latest share sales reduced the government’s remaining shareholding to less than 6% and below the level of the next largest shareholder.
“The plan to return Lloyds Banking Group to the private sector passed a significant milestone today when it was confirmed that the government is no longer the largest shareholder,” said the Treasury.
“These latest share sales mean the government has recovered over £18 billion of the £20.3 billion taxpayers injected into Lloyds during the financial crisis, once share sales and dividends received are accounted for.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said: “Returning Lloyds to the private sector and recovering all of the cash the taxpayer injected into the bank during the financial crisis is a priority for the government.
“Confirmation that we are no longer the largest shareholder in the bank and that we’ve now recouped over £18 billion for UK taxpayers is further evidence that we are on track to recover all of the £20 billion injected into the bank during the financial crisis.”
All proceeds from the share sales are used to reduce the UK’s national debt.