Shares in Lloyds Banking Group held steady at almost 91p this morning following the approval of its restructuring measures by the European Commission.
When Lloyds Banking Group was bailed out by the taxpayer last October, it was on the condition that the Group submit a restructuring plan. The plan will see 100s of branches, including its Cheltenham & Gloucester and TSB brands, go up for sale.
The seal of approval by the EU now means that Lloyds Banking Group can start its capital raising plans, which include a £17.5billion rights issue, and that will allow the Group to reduce the UK Government's share.
Commenting, competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "This plan effectively addresses the Commission's competition concerns and at the same time ensures the return of Lloyds Banking Group to long term viability."
Also in approval of the measures set out by Lloyds was Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury, Paul Myners, who said: "The Government's decisive action to support Lloyds and other banks protected the savings of millions of families and the jobs of thousands.
"With the bank now on a more secure footing, we can begin work to make sure Lloyds plays its part in reforming and repairing the banking system for the future," he said, adding:
"The divestments Lloyds will make following today's approval will lead to an important shake-up of the UK Retail banking market."
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