The government's stake in Lloyds Banking Group is now under two per cent after selling more shares

 
Rebecca Smith
The government said it has recovered over £20bn of taxpayers' money
The government said it has recovered over £20bn of taxpayers' money (Source: Getty)

The government has announced its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group is now under two per cent.

So the taxpayers' shareholding in the bank is now at 1.97 per cent. Until recently, the government had been Lloyds' largest shareholder.

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It had previously been reported the state could be rid of its entire holding by spring this year, after the government announced its holding was below the five per cent threshold at the beginning of 2017.

The government took a 43 per cent cent share when it bailed out the bank for £20.5bn after the 2008 financial crisis.

The government said it has nearly recovered all of the money taxpayers injected into the bank during the financial crisis, once share sales and dividends received are accounted for.

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The economic secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said: "I welcome this further progress in returning Lloyds to the private sector."

We have now recovered over £20bn for the taxpayer and are very close to recovering all of the money taxpayers injected into the bank during the financial crisis.

The Lloyds trading plan, selling shares in the market over time, initially ran from 17 December 2014 to 30 June 2016. The government then announced in October last year that further sales of Lloyds' shares would also be made through a trading plan.

In January, the government passed the significant milestone of announcing it was no longer Lloyds' biggest shareholder, making progress with the aim to return it to the private sector.

Read more: Government reduces its stake in Lloyds bank further

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