LONDON — The government cut its stake in bailed-out bank Lloyds to under 5% on Monday and announced it has recovered over 90% of the money it put into the lender during the financial crisis.
The government was forced to bail out Lloyds, along with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), in 2008 during the financial crisis. Lloyds received £20.3 billion ($25.4 billion) of taxpayer assistance in total and the government owned a 43.4% stake in the lender at its peak.
The Treasury announced on Monday that the latest stake sale means the government has now recovered £18.5 billion since the bailout, just over 91% of the total invested. All proceeds go towards reducing the national debt.
City minister Simon Kirby says in a statement on Monday: “Since our decision to sell the Government’s stake in Lloyds we have recovered over 90% of the money taxpayers injected into the bank during the financial crisis. This represents real progress and I am delighted that we are on track to return Lloyds to private ownership.”
While the government has made good progress reducing its investment in Lloyds, it is a different story with RBS. The taxpayer still owns over 70% of the lender and attempts to reduce the stake have been repeatedly delayed by legal issues in the US and poor profitability.