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UK government closer to sale of Lloyds Banking Group stake

The UK government has moved a step closer to selling its stake in Lloyds Banking Group, which was acquired when it bailed out the troubled bank.

Management at the bank has been asked to draw up the detailed information required for a sale by UK Financial Investments (UKFI), hinting that the 33 per cent stake owned by the government may be sold off, according to the Guardian.

UKFI is responsible for looking after taxpayers' shares and wrote to the bank to request the creation of a prospectus that will be presented to potential buyers in the coming weeks and months.

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed he is considering a retail offering of the shares, following the sale of a small tranche of shares in September 2013.

However, recent reports published by the National Audit Office (NAO) have indicated that taxpayers in the UK lost $377 million through the sale of the shares.

The figure appears to undermine a claim at the time by Chancellor George Osborne that the share sale in September represented "a profit for taxpayers".

The average price at which the taxpayer bought its stake in Lloyds was 73.6p.

By Asim Shah