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Osborne set to reveal Lloyds sell-off plans

Chancellor George Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce plans to begin selling off the Government’s shares in Lloyds Banking Group.

Osborne will reportedly use his Mansion House speech on 19 June to reveal how much of the Government’s 39 per cent stake in the bank will be sold off. Some reports suggest the Treasury is considering a sale of 10 per cent of its stake before the end of the year. Estimates say the total stake is worth around £17bn.

Under the plans, the public will be offered discounted Lloyds shares at the same price available to institutional investors such as pension funds and fund managers. The Government plans to offer incentives for investors to hold on to the shares for the longer-term.

Osborne is also expected to signal a share sell-off in RBS, although this may follow the Lloyds share sale.

Thinktank Policy Exchange published a report last week calling for Lloyds and RBS shares to be offered to voters at no initial cost, with voters then paying a fee on any future gains when they sell the shares. The thinktank estimates a mass share distribution would mean taxpayers receiving shares in the banks worth between £1,100 and £1,650.

The Treasury, Lloyds and RBS declined to comment.

Thameside Wealth director Tom Kean says: “To go for a sale now is a risky gamble by the Treasury. If the Government gets the timing wrong on this, it could be left with a loss.”


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