Government cuts stake in Lloyds to below 3%

The taxpayer's remaining stake in Lloyds has been cut to below 3% - taking the banking group a step closer to being returned to private hands.

During the financial crisis in 2008 the government took a 43% stake in the bank after a £20.3 billion bailout to prevent it collapsing.

It has now recovered £19.5 billion that will be used to reduce the national debt.

UK Financial Investments, which manages the government's stake in Lloyds, resumed the sale of shares in October, following a pause because of stock market turbulence.

In January this year it was announced that the taxpayer was no longer Lloyds' largest shareholder after the government reduced its stake to less than 6%.