Sale of Lloyds to go ahead before April, says Baldwin
Shares in Lloyds Banking Group will still be sold to the public this financial year, despite Chancellor George Osborne's move to postpone a retail offering in January amid stock market turmoil.
Harriett Baldwin, economic secretary to the Treasury, confirmed the plans in a statement as taxpayer-backed Lloyds made another £130m dividend payment to the Government, taking the total to £318m.
She said she was "determined" that the Government will make Lloyds shares available to the public this year, with a full return to the private sector in 2016-17.
The Government had hoped to sell at least £2bn of shares to retail investors this spring. But the hotly-anticipated share sale was put on ice at the start of the year, with Mr Osborne blaming "turbulent markets" as stocks tumbled due to an oil and commodity price rout. Ms Baldwin said: "The Government has already recovered over 80% of its original investment in Lloyds." The latest payment took the amount recovered to over £16.8bn, she said.