Lloyds makes full return to the private sector

The government has sold its final shares in Lloyds Banking Group, returning the bank entirely to the private sector.

After the bank faced potential collapse during the financial crisis, the government acquired a 43 percent shareholding in Lloyds in 2009, followed by a £20bn intervention in the bank.

The government began selling its shares through accelerated bookbuilds and trading plans in 2013, before completing the process this month. It said all proceeds from the sales will be used to reduce national debt.

An accelerated bookbuild involves selling a large block of shares to institutional investors overnight compared to a trading plan which drip feeds shares into the market daily.

Lloyds Debt

Lloyds has returned more than £21.2bn to taxpayers, repaying £894m more than taxpayers originally injected during the sub-prime mortgage crisis in 2007.

The bank said that since 2009, the group has repaired its balance sheet, reduced its cost base, cut complexity and international exposure, built and sold TSB and addressed legacy issues.

António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Six years ago we inherited a business that was in a very fragile financial condition. Thanks to the hard work of everyone at Lloyds, we’ve turned the group around.”

Lord Blackwell, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, said even though the bank has repaid more than taxpayers invested, it will not be “complacent” and knows there is still “more to do” to transform the bank for its customers.

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