Lloyds reduces taxpayer stake to below 21%

Lloyds Banking Group has made another step toward returning to full private ownership, reducing British taxpayers’ stake in the bank by a further 1 per cent to below 21 per cent.

£20 billion of taxpayer funds rescued the bank during the financial crisis, leaving the government with a 41 per cent ownership. Half of that stake has already been sold, and Lloyds plans to sell another £9 billion pounds worth of its stock over the next year.

The Conservative party has committed to running a sale of the bank’s stock to private retail investors at a discount if it wins the general election in May. In order to remove the threat of political interference in the sale process in the run up to the election, UK Financial Investments hired Morgan Stanley to sell Lloyds shares on the stock market in December.

During Morgan Stanley’s run, the government’s stake in the bank has reduced from 24.9 per cent.

Lloyds made preparations for a sale of shares to retail investors last year, but the government  scrapped the plan after the bank’s share price dropped. The bank has said it will support plans for a future sale to retail investors.

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