The government has reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group to just below 8%, as it continues to try and return the lender to full private ownership.
It means the taxpayer now owns 7.99% of the bank, down from the 43% share it held following the lender’s bailout at the height of the financial crisis. Sales were suspended in January because of market volatility. But UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government’s stake, said last month it would resume sales. However, it abandoned plans for a share sale to the public, saying current market volatility meant the move was not sensible.
Instead, the government is now continuing to offload the holding to institutional investors. “Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back,” Lloyds said in a statement.
The bank received £20.5bn in total from the government during the financial crisis. The government has recouped more than £17bn of that money since UKFI began selling the stake off in 2013.