Lloyds Banking Group has now fully returned to private ownership, as the government has today confirmed it’s sold its remaining stake in the Group.
The government had to buy a 43% shareholding in the banking group, which includes Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and Lloyds, in the midst of the banking crisis in 2009. This move cost the government £20.3 billion.
However, the government sold two large chunks of its shares in the bank in September 2013 and again in March 2014. From December 2014 to June 2016 and from October 2016 to May 2017, the government then drip-fed its remaining shares into the stock market on a daily basis.
Lloyds says the sale has returned £21.2 billion to the taxpayer, £894 million more than the initial investment, including over £400 million in dividends.
The Group’s share price stood at 70.09p at close yesterday, according to the London Stock Exchange.
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at platform Hargreaves Lansdown comments: “It’s been a long and winding road back to recovery, but finally the government has sold its last stake in Lloyds, almost a decade after the taxpayer bailed the bank out.
“Lloyds is now back to business as usual, and the withdrawal of a large seller from the market should be positive for the share price. It’s an interesting coincidence that one of the UK’s top fund managers, Neil Woodford, recently bought back into Lloyds after snubbing banks as uninvestable for fourteen years, just as the government is stepping out of the picture.”