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Lloyds edges closer to private ownership

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The Government has cut its stake in Lloyds Banking Group to less than 3 per cent having sold further shares in the bank.

The Treasury now holds a 2.95 per cent stake in Lloyds, down from 43 per cent at its peak when the Government bailed out the bank during the financial crisis.

It is expected the Government will sell out of the bank this year.

Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio says: “Today’s announcement moves Lloyds another step closer to full private ownership, and we are pleased that the group’s strong financial performance has kept us on track to return more money to taxpayers than was put in.”

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalaf says: “The finish line is now within sight for the UK taxpayer, who can look forward to recovering all the money pumped into Lloyds during the financial crisis.

“For the Treasury, the elephant in the room is of course Royal Bank of Scotland, which soaked up £45.5bn of taxpayer funding during the financial crisis, more than twice the sum needed to prop Lloyds up.”

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