The UK taxpayer, which collectively spent £20.3 billion on a 43% stake in Lloyds back in 2008 as part of a rescue package amid the chaos of the financial crisis, now owns just under 6% of the bank.
The amount that the government has recouped from selling its shares so far amounts to over £18 billion, and the government is confident that the bank will be passed entirely into the private sector within 2017.
Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, says: “Confirmation that we are no longer the largest shareholder in the bank and that we’ve now recouped over £18 billion for UK taxpayers is further evidence that we are on track to recover all of the £20 billion injected into the bank during the financial crisis.”
Lloyds’ share price at the time of writing is 65.43p, down from 65.90p at close on Friday (6 January).
Lloyds is one of the most traded shares on our parent company, Interactive Investor’s, platform. Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investment, comments: “As the most owned retail share, with over 2 million retail investors, today's news that the government has sold more of their holding is welcome, even if the share price isn't responding accordingly. The government's shareholding has acted like a millstone for Lloyds share price. The hope is that this further reduction in their holding will free the share from its shackles.”