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Taxpayers get all their money back from Lloyds bailout

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The government has recovered all of the £20.3bn it injected into Lloyds Banking Group during the financial crisis.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the Treasury has received £20.4bn since it began selling its stake in Lloyds in 2013, through both sales and dividends.

The government expects to exit its remaining shareholding of less than 2% in the coming months.

Hammond said: “Recovering all of the money taxpayers injected into Lloyds marks a significant milestone in our plan to build an economy that works for everyone.

“While it was right to step in with support during the financial crisis, the government should not be in the business of owning banks in the long term.

“The right place for them is in the private sector and I’m pleased to be able to say we are approaching the point at which we will sell our final shares in Lloyds Bank.”

The government began to sell its shares in Lloyds Banking Group in September 2013.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Of the UK banks, Lloyds has cleaned up its act fastest since the financial crisis. The share price was badly hit by Brexit, but Lloyds has recovered much of its poise since, thanks to some decent numbers from the bank itself and from the wider economy.

“For the Treasury, the elephant in the room is of course RBS, which required twice as much financial support from the taxpayer as Lloyds. The RBS share price needs to double from its current level before the taxpayer breaks even on the bailout, and that isn’t happening anytime soon.”