By Ian Walker

LONDON--Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LLOY.LN) Monday said the U.K. government has lowered its shareholding in the bank to 3.57 billion shares, or about 4.998% of its issued share capital.

The U.K. government previously held 4.24 billion shares.

No price was disclosed for the share sale, which was conducted on Friday. All money raised from the sales are used to reduce the national debt.

Lloyds, the U.K.'s biggest retail bank, was bailed out by U.K. taxpayers during the financial crisis, with the government taking a 39% stake. The government started selling its shares in the bank in late 2013.

In October, U.K. Treasury Chief Philip Hammond said the government would begin to sell its 9.1% stake in Lloyds via a trading plan, withdrawing the planned retail sale. He blamed ongoing market volatility for pulling the planned retail offer.

-Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com; @IanWalk40289749

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 30, 2017 02:32 ET (07:32 GMT)

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