Lloyds bank who are one of the biggest financial groups in the United Kingdom and the bank which holds the biggest ppi claims provision among all other UK banks – is now on the verge of being fully privatised, as the UK government prepares to off-load it’s two percent stake in the company.
The UK taxpayer was forced to bail out Lloyds during the financial crisis of 2008 and since then Lloyds has paid back the UK taxpayer to the tune of some £20 billion, with only the UK government needing Lloyds to pay back a remaining £300 billion which would completely cover the investment that UK Plc made into Lloyds.
An article in the Financial Times had more news on the plans by the UK government to sell it’s stake.
The government needs to offload a further 1.4bn shares to sell out of Lloyds completely — it initially owned 27.6bn — a process that analysts expect to complete before the end of May.
The Office for Budget Responsibility estimated in February that, based on the bank’s share price at the time, the government would make a £100m profit from selling Lloyds. Bankers briefed on the selldown expect the gain to be higher. The exit will draw to a close one of the biggest bailouts in the global financial crisis.
In the UK, the Lloyds rescue was dwarfed only by the £46bn injected into Royal Bank of Scotland, the largest casualty of 2008. It is already seven years since US banks repaid their bailout money, with Citigroup and Wells Fargo — which received $45bn and $25bn respectively through the Troubled Asset Relief Program — the last to reimburse the US government in 2009.
For Lloyds, the return to private ownership will mark a transformative decade in which the bank rescued HBOS and was subsequently bailed out, with the UK government taking a 43 per cent stake. Lloyds has since shed billions of pounds of toxic assets, replaced short-term wholesale funding with deposits and is eyeing the end of the payment protection insurance debacle, which has cost the bank more than £17bn.