The Chancellor has today (Monday 1 June) set out the next stage in the government’s plan to return Lloyds Banking Group to private ownership and get taxpayers’ money back, by extending the Lloyds trading plan for a further six months.
This announcement follows the confirmation this morning that the government has sold a further 1% of Lloyds shares through the trading plan.
The latest sales mean that the government has recovered almost £3.5 billion for the taxpayer from the trading plan, bringing the total recovered from Lloyds to over £10.5 billion, and the government’s stake to below 19%.
The trading plan, launched in December 2014, was due to end no later than the 30 June 2015. The extension announced today means that the plan will now end no later than 31 December 2015.
Shares have been sold through the trading plan for an average price of over 80p, well above the average 73.6p originally paid for the shares.
The Chancellor George Osborne said:
The trading plan has been a huge success, with almost £3.5 billion raised for the taxpayer so far. This means we have now recovered over £10.5 billion in total, more than half of the taxpayers’ money put into Lloyds, and we now own under 19% of the bank.
But we’re determined to get on with the job of returning Lloyds to private ownership. That’s why I’m extending the plan for six months so that we can make even more progress in returning money to the taxpayer and paying down the national debt.
The government remains committed to restoring Lloyds to private ownership in a way which gets the best value for the taxpayer.
Shares will only be sold through the trading plan where this objective is met, and will not be sold for less than the price paid for them, which was 73.6p.
Further sales as a result of extending the trading plan will contribute towards meeting the commitment the Chancellor made at Budget to sell at least a further £9 billion of Lloyds shares in 2015-2016.
As part of its plan to return Lloyds to the private sector, the government will launch a share sale which will be open to retail investors in the next 12 months. Further details will be set out in due course.
Morgan Stanley will continue to act as broker on behalf of HM Treasury to execute the trading plan.
Please see the announcement made by United Kingdom Financial Investments Limited of 1 June for full details and important legal messages.