Lloyds share sale: More than 120,000 investors clamour for £2bn retail shares through Hargreaves Lansdown alone as Treasury reduces stake

Catherine Neilan
Follow Catherine
At its peak, the taxpayer owned 43 per cent of the bank (Source: Getty)

Demand for Lloyds Banking Group shares among individual investors is expected to dwarf that of Royal Mail's sell-off.

Earlier this week, the government revealed plans for a £2bn retail sell off of shares, offering investors a discount of five per cent of market price. Those who keep their holding for more than a year will receive a bonus share for every 10 shares they own, capped at £200 per investor.

More than 62,000 people registered an interest in the sale on its first day. IFA Hargreaves Lansdown has said more than 120,000 have registered in the first week through its firm alone.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the demand could affect the government's plans for reducing the rest of its stake.

"Sid has come out in force to find out more about the forthcoming sale of Lloyds shares. The bank is a trusted high street name and will be offered on attractive terms for investors, which has generated a wave of interest from the public.

"The tremendous level of interest in the Lloyds sale demonstrates how high profile offerings can really capture the public imagination, and get people thinking about investing for their future."

But Lloyds' share price has tumbled since the retail plan was unveiled on Monday, and is down 1.9 per cent for the week so far.

The share sale is to take place in early 2016, "dependent on market conditions".

It comes as the government reveals it has sold off another chunk of its holding in Lloyds Banking Group, taking its overall stake to less than 11 per cent.

A further one per cent was sold through the Treasury's trading plan, which was launched in December last year. So far £15.5bn has been raised through the sale. At its peak, the taxpayer owned 43 per cent of the bank, in the wake of the financial crisis.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: "I am determined to build on this success by making Lloyds shares available to the public next spring, so that we can build a share-owning democracy and continue to reduce our national debt."

Interested investors can find out more information and pre-register at government website www.gov.uk/lloydsshares.

Related articles