U.K. Cuts Stake in Lloyds Below 16% as Trading Plan Continues

The U.K. government reduced its stake in Lloyds Banking Group Plc to 15.9 percent as the government continues to sell the shares in a trading plan.

The latest disposal cuts the state’s holding a further percentage point from the level reported on June 23, a filing Thursday shows, and the stake has dropped from 24.9 percent when the Treasury’s trading plan started in December.

Sales of shares in Lloyds have netted the Treasury about 12 billion pounds ($18.7 billion) so far. Chancellor George Osborne said he’ll start start returning Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc to private ownership in the coming months, even though it may come at a loss for the taxpayer. The government owns a 79 percent stake after bailing out the lender.

“Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back,” the bank said in an e-mail. “This reflects the hard work undertaken over the last four years to transform the group into a simple, low-risk and customer-focused bank.”

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