Government sells its last Lloyds shares

18 May 17

Lloyds Banking Group, which was bailed out with £20.3bn by the government, has now returned to private ownership, netting the public purse nearly £900m in the process.

The bank was given a bailout after the financial crash in 2008.

Today, it confirmed that more than £21.2bn has been returned to taxpayers as the final government shares were sold privately.

Lloyds said the sale marked the successful delivery of the group’s strategy to transform itself into a simple, low-risk, UK-focused retail and commercial bank.

António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group said: “Today the government has sold its last shares in Lloyds Banking Group, receiving more money than was originally invested.

“Six years ago, we inherited a business that was in a very fragile financial condition. Thanks to the hard work of everyone at Lloyds, we’ve turned the group around.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond hailed the return of Lloyds to private hands and the recouping of an extra £894m as a “major achievement”.

At the height of public ownership, the government owned up to 43% of Lloyds. It still owns more than 70% of RBS – which is losing money.

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