George Osborne admits the Treasury could hold Lloyds Banking Group shares until June 2016

Emma Haslett
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The government originally said its trading plan would end in December (Source: Getty)

The government has admitted it won't finish its trading plan to sell off Lloyds shares until June 2016 - after it originally said it will finish by the end of this month.

In a statement this morning, chancellor George Osborne said the government will extend its trading plan until the end of June.

Back in October the government announced plans for a retail sale of at least £2bn of shares, to be launched next spring.

Read more: Lloyds shares - should you register to buy?

So far, shares have been sold off at an average price of 81p - "well above the average 73.6p originally paid for the shares".

However, the bank's shares are currently hovering around 73p, down from a peak of 89p in May.

So far, the government has cut its stake in the bank to nine per cent, which it said had recovered £9bn for the taxpayer.

Osborne said: "As part of my plan to fully return Lloyds to the private sector, reduce public debt and build a stronger and safer financial system, Lloyds shares will also be offered to retail investors in spring 2016.

"This will allow hardworking people to buy a stake in our economy and help to build a share owning democracy."

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