According to industry insiders, Lloyds could be on the verge of being privatised by the UK Government. Lloyds Bank which was the leader in the ppi claims scandal to hit the UK’s banking sector – has seen the UK government shed it’s shareholding in the bank in recent months. As of March 2017, the UK government holds a stake of less than 3% in the bank.
The UK government paid over £20 billion in 2008 to stop Lloyds from going bankrupt during the financial crisis which afflicted world markets during that year.
The £20 billion pound pay-out saw the UK government take a 43% stake in Lloyds. Since then, the UK government has been offloading it’s shareholding, which some financial experts see as a sign that the bank a corner.
The sale means more than £19.5bn has now been returned to Government coffers since the lender’s £20.3bn bailout at the height of the financial crisis.
This includes around £500m in payouts to shareholders since the bank resumed paying dividends in 2014 as it has returned to profit growth in recent years.
Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “Today’s announcement moves Lloyds another step closer to full private ownership, and we are pleased that the group’s strong financial performance has kept us on track to return more money to taxpayers than was put in.”