Lloyds could avoid APS with 15bn fund-raising

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP will need to raise up to &pound;15bn from investors if it wants to avoid participating in the government&rsquo;s asset protection scheme (APS), analysts estimate.<br /><br />The bank has agreed to insure &pound;260bn of assets via the scheme, but chief executive Eric Daniels is thought to be unhappy with the &pound;16bn fee and the resulting increase in the government&rsquo;s stake from 43 per cent to more than 60 per cent.<br /><br />Privately, Treasury officials believe that the bank would not secure sufficient appetite for a rights issue on the scale needed to pull out of the APS.<br /><br />But with negotiations still ongoing between the two sides, Lloyds is facing pressure to scale back its use of the APS from investors, who could vote against participation at the next shareholder meeting.