James Moore: Time for taxpayers to gain from Lloyds bailout

 

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The Independent Online

Outlook The fact that Lloyds Banking Group is unlikely to pay a dividend until 2016 doesn’t appear to have cooled the Government’s ardour for selling off the state’s stake.

In cohorts with Morgan Stanley, it has cooked up what it is calling a “trading plan” that will see the shares drip-fed into the market over the coming months.

The shares are actually on the state’s books at the unrealistically low price of 61p, the average price at which they had been trading when the state got involved, as opposed to the 73.6p it actually paid.

It was a stupid and unworthy piece of accounting trickery the Treasury thought it could use to claim it was making a profit for the taxpayer when it wasn’t. If the Government wanted to find a use for that figure, it might consider using it as the basis for a retail share offer, so people whose taxes were used to bail the bank out might benefit from it.

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