Government cuts Lloyds stake to below 17%

Lloyds-Banking-Group-001 The government's stake in Lloyds Banking Group is below 17% after they flogged more shares to investors. At a knock-down rate? We wouldn't like to speculate...

Anyway, the crew at UK Financial Investments (UKFI) - the people responsible for handling the government's stakes in all the privatised banks - has been slowly selling off the Treasury's stake in Lloyds after the bank got £22.5bn from taxpayers in the financial crisis and subsequent bail outs.

The government initially owned a 41% stake in Lloyds, before selling bits of it off in 2013. What this all means for taxpayers, is that around £11.5bn has been returned. Are the rest of the shares going to get the amount recouped back to £22.5bn? Doesn't look like it.

"Today's announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back," Lloyds Banking Group said in a statement.

The Treasury have been given an extra 6 months to get some money back, and Chancellor George Osborne reckons there's still a chance to sell a further £9bn of Lloyds shares through 2015-16.

Optimism, there.

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