Business

Lloyds shares yield £130m for Government

Lloyds Ban exterior Image copyright Reuters

The Treasury says it has received a further dividend from its Lloyds Banking Group shares of £130m, bringing to £318m the amount the government has received in dividends from the bank.

It also confirmed it would fully return its remaining 9.2% stake in Lloyds to the private sector in 2016-17.

In addition, it will press ahead with the sale of the taxpayer's final stake this financial year.

The sale had been due to take place this spring.

It was delayed in January because of turmoil on financial markets.

"The £130m we've received today marks another milestone in government's plan to recover the money taxpayers were forced to put into Lloyds during the financial crisis," said the economic secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin.

"The government has already recovered over 80% of its original investment in Lloyds and today's dividend payment takes the amount we've recovered from the bank to over £16.8bn."

Private investors

During the financial crisis, the government spent £20.5bn of taxpayers' money rescuing Lloyds, acquiring a 43% share in the bank.

So far, only institutional investors have had the chance to buy the taxpayer-owned shares in Lloyds.

However, the government announced last October that it would sell about £2bn more of its shares and also hold a sale aimed at private investors this spring.

Subsequently, however, Lloyds' share price fell and the trading environment for banks became tougher.

Ms Baldwin said, however, that she was "determined" to make "Lloyds shares available to the public this year, so that we can build a share-owning democracy and continue to reduce our national debt".

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