The United Kingdom government has sold its remaining shares in the Lloyds Banking Group Plc, after the UK government bailed the bank out of financial crisis a decade ago. The bank is now back fully into the hands of private ownership.
The Treasury on Tuesday sold the remainder of its original 20.3 billion-pound ($26.2 billion) investment — less than 0.25 percent in the bank, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. A statement confirming the exit could come as early as Wednesday, one person said. Reports Bloomberg.
The bank’s return to full state independence follows efforts by Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio to restore the lender’s profitability and financial strength and is a symbolic moment for Prime Minister Theresa May as she pushes to win a bigger mandate from British voters next month. Still, the U.K. still owns more than 70 percent of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and will probably make a loss on its stake on that lender when it’s divested.
The government, which at one point owned 43 percent of Lloyds, has gradually sold shares to investors through a trading program run by Morgan Stanley announced in December 2014. BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, replaced the government as Lloyds’s biggest investor in January.