The government initially took a 43% stake in the bank, in a £20.3bn rescue deal, following its takeover of HBOS which left Lloyds saddled with billions of pounds of toxic loans.
António Horta-Osório, chief executive at Lloyds, said: “Six years ago we inherited a business that was in a very fragile financial condition. Thanks to the hard work of everyone at Lloyds, we’ve turned the group around. But the job is not done. We’re going to continue to use our strong position to help Britain prosper.”
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The Treasury won’t be making a song and dance about the Lloyds sale, seeing as we are in a period of purdah running up to the general election. Indeed the champagne corks should probably be kept on ice seeing as the taxpayer has only broken even on the face value of the Lloyds bailout, and is still nursing a loss if you factor in the borrowing costs associated with stumping up the money back in 2009.”
Rival bank Royal Bank of Scotland is still 72% owned by the government. Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned that stock could be sold off at a loss in the coming years.