UK cuts stake in Lloyds Banking Group
The state's stake was cut from 3.57bn shares to 2.78bn, or 3.89% of the Lloyds Banking Group's total share capital.
UK Financial Investments Limited, the vehicle set up to control taxpayers' stakes in the banks that were bailed out during the financial crisis, had sold off two parcels of shares in January, with the most recent taking the holding to just under 5%.
In May last year, the government said it planned a retail sale of its 9.2% shareholding, fully returning the shares to the private sector between 2016 and 2017.
But in October, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the government would only make shares available to institutions rather than retail investors.
He said at the time that returning Lloyds to the private sector and recovering all of the cash the taxpayer injected into the bank during the 2008 crisis was a priority for the government.
With the dividend announced earlier this week and the recent sales, the taxpayer has all but recouped the entire £20bn injected into the bank. ■