- Title: As Lloyds flies free, RBS years away from leaving state hands
- Date: 17th May 2017
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LLOYDS BANK BRANCHES
- Embargoed: 31st May 2017 17:21
- Keywords: from leaving state hands RBS years away Lloyds flies free
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0096H87VRH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Britain has sold its last remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group, making the lender the first to re-emerge from British state ownership in a symbolic step for the country's recovering banking sector.
The sale draws a line under one of the largest bailouts from the 2007-2009 global financial crisis. This involved Lloyds, Britain's biggest retail lender, being rescued after an ill-fated government-brokered takeover of rival HBOS.
The takeover of HBOS in 2008 caused Lloyds to suffer more than 25 billion pounds in losses, with the bailout leaving the government with a 43 percent state shareholding.
Lloyds said in a statement that the government will make a profit of about 900 million pounds ($1.16 billion), having spent more than 20 billion pounds rescuing the bank.
The sale will be seen as a boost to Britain's Conservative Party ahead of next month's election, with the stewardship of the economy emerging as key battleground.
However there was criticism that this calculation did not take in to account inflation or fully factor in the cost of borrowing the money to pay for the bailout.
Lloyds has overhauled the way it is run since its bailout and a series of high-profile scandals, scaling back its global footprint and reducing its reliance on short-term funding.
The sale ends a lengthy, and at times politicised, government disposal of its stake that underscores Britain's banking industry's slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.
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