Investors have launched a petition asking the government to sell Lloyds shares to the public

Emma Haslett
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The public isn't being allowed into the final sale of Lloyds Banking Group (Source: Getty)

It seems retail investors were counting on getting their hands on a slice of Lloyds Bank - after a company representing potential shareholders launched a petition asking the government to give the public a chance when it sells off its final stake.

Earlier this month the government unveiled the details of its final sale of shares in the lender, which it bought a stake in as part of a bailout in 2008.

Retail investors were dismayed to see the shares will be sold through a trading plan, aimed at institutional investors, rather than the man on the street.

Now FTSE 100-listed financial adviser Hargreaves Lansdown has launched a petition to protest the decision - pointing out that 374,000 people registered their interest in the Lloyds Banking Group share sale through its own platform alone.

“We're disappointed the government plan to exclude the general public when selling its stake in Lloyds Banking Group. Rather than engage with working taxpayers willing to invest in our economy, the government has favoured City institutions," said Ian Gorham, the company's chief executive.

"The government should be encouraging people to invest and a public share sale of Lloyds banking Group would be a great way to do this. Lloyds is one of the UK's largest and most important companies, with the potential to reward shareholders over the long term.

Although retail investors might not be as devastated as Hargreaves Lansdown thinks: this morning Lloyds shares were down nearly one per cent after the lender unveiled a 15 per cent fall in pre-tax profits.

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