New Lloyds shares sale cuts Government stake in banking group to 7%


The Government has sold off another chunk in taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group, taking its stake down to less than 7%.

UK Financial Investments, which manages the stake in Lloyds, cut its holding in the lender to 6.93% from 7.99% less than a month after the last share sale.

More than £17.5 billion has been returned to Government coffers since the lender's £20.3 billion bailout at the height of the financial crisis.

All proceeds from the sales are being used to reduce the national debt.

The Government has progressively sold down its original 43% stake in Lloyds and in October, Chancellor Philip Hammond ditched plans for a share sale to the public, opting instead to offload the holding to institutional investors.

A Lloyds spokesman said: "Today's announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back.

"This reflects the hard work undertaken over the last five years to transform the group into a simple, low-risk and customer-focused bank that is committed to helping Britain prosper."

Last month Lloyds said it had set aside another £1 billion to meet compensation claims for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) as it attempts to draw a line under the scandal.