The Chancellor has today announced that the government has sold another £500m of Lloyds Banking Group shares, taking the total amount of money raised through the trading plan launched in December 2014 to over £1bn.
These sales and the dividend announced by Lloyds last week will bring the total amount recovered for the taxpayer from Lloyds to approximately £8.5bn, and means that the government’s stake in the bank has reduced from around 40% in 2009 to below 23% today.
All shares sold through the trading plan have been sold above the average price the previous government paid for them, which was 73.6p.
The Chancellor George Osborne said:
I am delighted that we’ve raised a further £500 million for the taxpayer through the trading plan I launched in December.
These sales are part of our plan to return Lloyds to the private sector and get taxpayers’ money back. The proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt.
A trading plan involves gradually selling shares in the market over time, in an orderly and measured way. The trading plan was launched on 17 December 2014 and will end no later than 30 June.
As required by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, Lloyds Banking Group announced today that the government’s shareholding in the bank had crossed through a one percentage point threshold. This announcement therefore notifies the market that the government has reduced its shareholding in Lloyds to below 23%.
Last week Lloyds announced that it had increased its statutory profits before tax by 325% since last year, and that it will resume dividend payments for the first time since the crisis. The dividend will provide the Exchequer with at least another £100m this year.