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Osborne announces plan to sell Lloyds shares

Osborne announces plan to sell Lloyds shares

Category: Banking

Updated: 20/06/2013
First Published: 20/06/2013

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The Chancellor, George Osborne, has confirmed the Government is considering the sale of Lloyds Banking Group shares to the public.

Speaking at the annual Mansion House meeting in London yesterday, Mr Osborne stated that the Government was keen to take steps to return the bank to private ownership following its £25 billion bail out by UK taxpayers in 2008.

Over the past five years, Lloyds has been seen to generate "healthy returns" within its retail and commercial businesses and is now, according to the Government, in a good position to be returned to the private sector.

"I can announce that we are actively considering options for share sales in Lloyds," said Mr Osborne.

"Of course, we will only proceed if we get value for the taxpayer. Shares are already trading at around the price where selling would reduce the national debt. That's something we all want to see."

Hopes that the Government would be selling its 82% stake in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were put on hold; however, as the Chancellor indicated that it could instead be split into a good and bad bank at no further expense to the taxpayer.

Subject to meeting three core Treasury objectives; whether the split supports the British economy; if it's in the interests of taxpayers and if it accelerates the return to private ownership, the move would mean all 'bad assets' are removed from RBS and placed into the 'bad bank'.

"We're not prepared to put more taxpayer capital into RBS as part of this process," Mr Osborne added.

The review into whether RBS should be split is due to take place imminently, with a final decision expected in the autumn.


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