UK Government sells more shares in Lloyds

Philip Hammond

The UK Government said it has made further sales of its shares in Lloyds Banking Group, reducing its remaining shareholding to less than 9%.

Lloyds Banking Group includes Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows and Halifax.

The government said the latest sale of shares via a “trading plan” mean it “has now recovered nearly £17 billion of the £20.3 billion taxpayers injected into Lloyds during the financial crisis, once share sales and dividends received are accounted for.”

UK chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Selling our shares in Lloyds and making sure that we get back all the cash taxpayers injected into it during the financial crisis is one of my top priorities as chancellor.

“That is why I am pleased that we have reduced our stake in Lloyds and recovered nearly £17 billion for the taxpayer.”

The government said the trading plan involves gradually selling shares in the market over time “in an orderly and measured way.”

The Lloyds trading plan initially ran from December 17, 2014 to June 31, 2016.

On October 7, 2016, Hammond said the UK government would withdraw a planned retail sale of cut-price shares in Lloyds Banking Group to the general public due to “ongoing market volatility.”

Instead, he said the government would sell its remaining 9.1% stake in Lloyds worth roughly £3.6 billion to institutional investors via the trading plan.

All proceeds from the share sales are used to reduce the national debt.