UK government cuts stake in Lloyds down to 7.99%

The British government has sold off more shares in Lloyds Banking Group, cutting its stake in the lender by 1 percentage point down to 7.99%.

The UK bailed out the bank during the height of the financial crisis in 2008 for £20.3 billion – holding 43 percent of the bank. Since the government began selling off its stake in the bank in 2013 it has recouped over £17 billion.

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“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,” the bank said in a statement.

Sales were put on hold earlier this year because of market volatility. But last month, UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages HM Treasury’s shareholdings in banks, said it would resume sales to institutional investors.

Plans for a share sale to the public were scrapped because of increased market volatility.

“Selling our shares in Lloyds Banking Group and making sure that we get back all the cash taxpayers injected into it during the financial crisis is one of my top priorities as Chancellor. So I am pleased that we have continued to reduce our stake in Lloyds, and have now recovered over £17 billion for the taxpayer,” said chancellor Phillip Hammond.

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