Britain plans to offload holding in Lloyds

The government may also consider to sell the state-owned bank RBS in the near future.

New Statesman
A Lloyds Banking Group logo. Credit: Getty Images.

The UK’s HM Treasury is planning to sell its 39 per cent holding in Lloyds Banking Group, reports The Sunday Times.

The sale is expected to fetch up to £17bn.

The Treasury, however, declined to comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Treasury is initially mulling to dispose a 10 per cent stake in Lloyds by the end of 2013, reported the Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter.

The British chancellor of exchequer George Osborne is expected to announce the decision to sell 39 per cent stake in his annual policy speech to the business community in London on 19 June 2013.

The move is likely to face opposition from several government and political officials including  Sir Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England.

The government  may also consider to sell the state-owned bank RBS in the near future to exit its presence from the banking sector.

Earlier in May, Osborne said: “Having refocused their business, now is the time for a clear strategy on how to return RBS and Lloyds to the private sector in a way that protects value for the taxpayer.

“The Parliamentary Banking Commission I established is completing its work and we will then set out the way ahead. We need functioning banks supporting the real economy, instead of nursing their wounds, and I'm determined we’ll deliver it.”

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, which will present its report next week, is expected to have significant impact on sale of stakes in these banks.

Lloyds Banking Group serves more than 30 million customers in the UK through its Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows, and other brands.