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Taxpayer’s stake in Lloyds now below 3%

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The Treasury has sold another chunk of shares in Lloyds Banking Group, reducing its remaining shareholding to less than 3%.

The latest sales mean the government has recovered over £19.5bn of the £20.3bn taxpayers injected into the bank during the financial crisis.

On 9 January 2017, the government announced it had passed a significant milestone in returning Lloyds to the private sector when it confirmed it was no longer the bank’s largest shareholder.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said: “Lloyds’ recent annual results show that we are in a good position to reduce our shareholding further and expect to recover all of the money taxpayers injected into the bank during the financial crisis.”

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The finish line is now within sight for the UK taxpayer, who can look forward to recovering all the money pumped into Lloyds during the financial crisis. Meanwhile Lloyds continues to make ground in its quest to become a normal, fully privatised bank.”

Lloyds’ share price was badly hit by Brexit, plummeting by more than a third in the fortnight following the referendum result.

“Since then Lloyds has recovered much of its poise, thanks to some decent numbers from the bank itself and from the wider economy, and the shares now trade close to where they stood before the Brexit vote,” said Khalaf.

“The current share price is 68p, while on 23 June 2016 the stock changed hands for 72p when the closing bell rang for the last time before the referendum result was announced.

“Based on the current Lloyds’ share price, selling its remaining stake in the bank would net the Exchequer somewhere in the region of £1.5 billion, comfortably taking it over the threshold needed to break even on the bailout.”