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May 18, 2017

Lloyds returns to private ownership

By Meghna Mukerjee

The UK government has disposed its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group, helping the bank return to private ownership after almost a decade.

The government last owned nearly 638 million shares in the bank, which have now been offloaded.

During the peak of the financial crisis, the government bought a 43% stake in Lloyds after infusing £20.3bn. The bank was forced to take the bailout following an ill-timed takeover of mortgage lender HBOS.

The sale of the stake helped the bank recoup £21.2bn, including over £400m in dividends, thereby making a £894m profit on its initial investment.

Lloyds CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “Today the government has sold its last shares in Lloyds Banking Group, receiving more money than was originally invested. 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.”

Lloyds chairman Lord Blackwell added: “While we are proud of the progress we have made over the last few years, we recognise there is still a lot to do to transform Lloyds Banking Group into the best bank for customers and play our full role in helping Britain prosper.”

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