Government raises £500m from sale of stake in Lloyds

The headquarters of Halifax in Yorkshire
The headquarters of Halifax in Yorkshire

The Treasury said it had raised £500m through the sale of a further 1 per cent stake in Lloyds Banking Group, taking its stake to below 24 per cent.

The sale moves Lloyds another step towards a full return to private ownership after the Government pumped £20bn into the Halifax owner during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, leaving it with a 41 per cent shareholding. UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the public stakes in bailed out banks, hired Morgan Stanley in December to sell Lloyds shares on the stock market through a “pre-arranged trading plan”.

The sales since made by Morgan Stanley, all at a price above the 73.6 pence average price that the Government paid, have taken the stake down to 23.9 per cent from 24.9 per cent when the trading plan was launched.

They also take the total amount raised by the Government so far from selling down its stake in Lloyds to just under £8bn.

“This is further progress in returning Lloyds Banking Group to private ownership, reducing our national debt and getting taxpayers’ money back,” said Chancellor George Osborne.

UKFI had previously raised £7.4bn through two separate sales to financial institutions.

Lloyds is one of the largest private sector employers in Yorkshire.