Belfast Telegraph

Public offered cut-price Lloyds Banking Group shares

By Damian Clarkson

Shares in taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group will be made available to retail investors in the spring, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

Some £2bn worth of shares will be up for grabs and will be sold at a 5% discount to the market price.

In a bid to avoid wealthier investors snapping up the lot, anyone applying for less than £1,000 worth will be prioritised.

Investors will also be awarded a bonus share for every 10 purchased if they hold their investment for more than a year, up to a maximum bonus of £200 each.

The Government pumped more than £20bn into Lloyds to prop up the bank during the financial collapse. It has been gradually selling shares off to institutional investors, but this is the first chance for the public to get involved.

Mr Osborne told ITV1's Good Morning Britain: "We are selling Lloyds shares to members of the public... people who are going to have a chance to get something back, having put all that money in under the last Labour government."

All sale proceeds will be used to pay down the national debt.

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