Sale of public’s stake in Lloyds to restart shortly

Next phase in the government’s plan to sell the British taxpayers’ remaining £3.6 billion stake in Lloyds Banking Group will begin shortly.

Speaking in Washington, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced that the government will begin to sell its 9.1% stake in Lloyds via a trading plan, withdrawing the planned retail sale. Ongoing market volatility means it is not the right time for a retail offer.

The move is all part of the government’s commitment to returning the state-owned banks to the private sector and get taxpayers’ money back. The government has already raised around £16.9 billion for the taxpayer from previous Lloyds share sales.

A trading plan will ensure the government gets back all of the £20.3 billion that taxpayers injected into Lloyds during the financial crisis.

The decision follows advice from UK Financial Investments (UKFI) that selling shares through the trading plan represents good value for money for taxpayers. In their advice to the Chancellor UKFI said: “Putting in place a further trading plan represents the best opportunity to sell shares at a price which delivers value for money for the taxpayer.”

Letter from the Chairman of UKFI to the Chancellor of the Exchequer - Lloyds retail offer and trading plan

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond said:

"Returning Lloyds to the private sector is in the interests of the bank, taxpayers and the country as a whole. That is why exiting our stake in Lloyds in an orderly way and at the best possible price is one of my top priorities as Chancellor.

"I have listened to the experts. Ongoing market volatility means it is not the right time for a retail offer.

"Our plan will get back all the cash taxpayers invested in Lloyds during the financial crisis and leave the bank in a better place to continue the crucial role it plays in supporting individuals, families and businesses up and down the UK."

A trading plan involves gradually selling shares in the market over time, in an orderly and measured way. The trading plan has been initiated today and sales may commence in the coming days. The plan will be in place for approximately 12 months.

Morgan Stanley International will act as broker on behalf of HM Treasury to execute the trading plan.

Please see the announcement made by United Kingdom Financial Investments Limited for full details and important legal messages.