US fund giant BlackRock is now Lloyds Banking Group’s biggest shareholder after the government sold off more of its stake in the bank.
The Treasury’s stake dropped below BlackRock’s as its holding has been wound down to 5.9 per cent through the sale of 700,000 shares.
BlackRock has not disclosed its exact stake in the bank, but Bloomberg data suggests it is now owns the largest number of shares.
BlackRock informed investors in May 2015 that its holding had passed 5 per cent under new stock market disclosure rules.
Chancellor Philip Hammond says: “Returning Lloyds to the private sector and recovering all of the cash the taxpayer injected into the bank during the financial crisis is a priority for the government.
“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.”
The government ditched plans to offer a discount to retail investors looking to buy shares in Lloyds Banking Group in October on the back of market volatility, and set up another trading plan to dispose of its stake no later than October 2017.
The bank is still eyeing up offering a robo-advice service after putting plans to launch an online investment service for retail clients on hold to await the next development in the FCA’s Financial Advice Market Review.