[LONDON] Britain's government's is to delay selling the final tranche of shares in state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group owing to turbulence in financial markets, finance minister George Osborne said on Thursday.
With LBG returning to health after its 2008 bailout at the height of the financial crisis, the Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron had been gradually reducing its 43-per cent stake in the lender, returning billions of pounds to the state coffers in the process.
The stake currently stands at a little more than nine percent ahead of the bank's full privatisation.
"I want to create a share-owning democracy," Mr Osborne, the Chancellor the Exchequer, said in a statement on Thursday.
"It's also my responsibility to ensure economic responsibility, so with these turbulent financial markets, now is not the right time to have that sale," he added.
Mr Osborne said that the sale would occur "when the time is right".
The government had intended to start offloading the final tranche of shares before the second-half of 2016.