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Could the UK government be looking to sell its Lloyds bank stake?

Stephen Hester, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has this weekend suggested that the UK government may be looking to dispose of its 83% stake in stages beginning in 2011. If this is correct, and the UK government does actively look to dispose of its share stake next year, does this put Lloyds bank in a similar situation?

While ultimately the UK government would like to dispose of the banking stakes as soon as possible to bring in much-needed cash which can be used elsewhere within the public sector, nothing has been officially confirmed as yet. However, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds bank are very much at different stages of recovery and it should not be taken as a formality that the Lloyds bank stake will be disposed of at around about the same time as the Royal Bank of Scotland stake.

In many ways the coalition government will be shielded from any criticism surrounding the sale of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds bank stakes purely and simply because these were the result of actions taken by the previous government. However, David Cameron would ideally like to bail out of these investments with a profit, raising as much money as possible for the UK government and UK taxpayers.

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