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Government sells further £500m of Lloyds shares

The Government has reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group by selling off a further £500m of shares.

UK Financial Investments, the company set up to manage the Government’s stake in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland after both banks were bailed out by taxpayers in 2008, now owns 22.9 per cent in LBG – down from a peak of 40 per cent in 2009.

Chancellor George Osborne said last month he we would sell off the entire stake in LBG by no later than 30 June.

He says: “I am delighted that we’ve raised a further £500 million for the taxpayer through the trading plan I launched in December.

“These sales are part of our plan to return Lloyds to the private sector and get taxpayers’ money back. The proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt.”

A spokesman for Lloyds Banking Group says: “Today’s announcement shows further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back.”

The bank last month reported pre-tax profits of £1.8bn for 2014, up from £0.4bn a year earlier, while also confirming it would resume dividend payments.

LBG shares were down 0.7 per cent for the day at 80.85p per share at the time of writing.

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