The British government just reduced its stake in the Lloyds Banking Group to below 21% and made £586 million ($US882 million) in the process.
In a regulatory statement, Lloyds revealed that the the Treasury now owns just 20.95% of the bank, after selling around 742 million shares.
Lloyds received £20.5 billion in state handouts between 2008 and 2009 following the credit crisis. In return, the government held a 43% stake in the lender and it has incrementally chipped away at its holding.
In March, the UK government made around £73 million ($US110 million) by selling another chunk of its stake in Lloyds.
In February, Lloyds reported a 26% increase in underlying profit to £7.8 billion ($US11.7 billion) for 2014. Pre-tax profits rocketed by 325% to £1.8 billion.
Subsequently, Lloyds’ board revealed that it would spread the joy amongst its shareholders and staff as it doled out millions of pounds in bonuses, bump up executive remuneration, and announced it will restart dividend payments in 2015.
Lloyds will give shareholders dividends worth 0.75p per share, which totals £535 million. Around £3 million will go to shareholders while £130 million will go to the government.
Meanwhile, Lloyds paid £369.5 million in staff bonuses in 2014.