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Taxpayer lost £230m on government’s Lloyds stake sale

by: Dan Jones
  • 18/12/2013
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Taxpayer lost £230m on government’s Lloyds stake sale
The taxpayer lost £230m on the government's disposal of part of its stake in Lloyds Banking Group, according to the National Audit Office (NAO), despite claims the sale was made at a profit.

NAO analysis found the government sale of a 6% stake in Lloyds resulted in a loss for the UK of over £200m, once state funding costs were taken into account.

That is despite chancellor George Osborne claiming the 75p price meant a “profit for taxpayers” at the time of the 17 September sale.

The cost of the debt incurred by the state to fund Lloyds’ £20bn bailout in 2008 meant an overall loss for the taxpayer, despite the 75p price being above the nominal 73.6p ‘break-even’ level, the NAO said.

Nonetheless, the NAO added the cutting of the government’s stake in Lloyds from 39% to 33% represented a “good start”.

Further sales, including a share offer for retail investors, are expected to take place in early 2014. Disposing of the government’s 81% stake in RBS, however, is not anticipated any time soon.

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