Treasury reveals further details of Lloyds sell off

1 Jun 15

The Treasury has confirmed that it will offer shares in the bailed-out Lloyds Banking Group to the general public within the next year as part of moves to return the bank to full private ownership.

Chancellor George Osborne also announced today that the government’s trading plan for Lloyds, which has seen a series of share sales since last December, would be extended from a six-month plan to a year.

Under the scheme, the Treasury has given authorisation for United Kingdom Financial Investments, which manages the shareholding, to sell shares when market conditions are suitable.

The latest sale of a 1% holding was made this morning, and Osborne said the programme would now continue until December.

This would then be followed by a sale to the general public, a so-called retail offer, which could be similar to the controversial deal to privatise the Royal Mail and privatisations such as British Gas and British Telecoms in the 1980s. More details will be set out in due course, the Treasury stated.

‘The trading plan has been a huge success, with almost £3.5bn raised for the taxpayer so far,’ Osborne said.

‘This means we have now recovered over £10.5bn 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.’

Shares have been sold through the trading plan for an average price of over 80p, above the average of 73.6p originally paid for the shares during the 2008 financial crisis.

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