RBS and Lloyds Banking Group were rescued around the same time. Yet, some nine years later, the government has sold nearly all its original 43% stake in Lloyds, while it still holds 71.5% in RBS. It originally held 81%.
True, the state had a bigger holding in RBS but it is likely to be some time before its chief executive Ross McEwan can make a statement like the following from Lloyds boss António Horta-Osório. He says: “Today’s announcement that the UK Government is no longer our largest shareholder is a key milestone in the journey of Lloyds Banking Group back to full private ownership, returning taxpayers’ money at a profit. “It also reflects the hard work undertaken by everyone at Lloyds over the last five years to transform the group into a simple, low-risk and customer-focused bank that is committed to helping Britain prosper”.