The government has announced that all of the £20.3 billion invested in Lloyds during the financial crisis has now been recovered. The sale of the latest tranche of shares in the Lloyds Banking Group brings the amount recovered through sales and dividends to £20.4 billion. The government’s remaining stake has now fallen to less than 2% which is expected to be sold off in the coming months subject to satisfactory market conditions.The Chancellor, Philip Hammond said:’Recovering all of the money taxpayers injected into Lloyds marks a significant milestone in our plan to build an economy that works for everyone.While it was right to step in with support during the financial crisis, the government should not be in the business of owning banks in the long term. The right place for them is in the private sector and I’m pleased to be able to say we are approaching the point at which we will sell our final shares in Lloyds Bank.’The sales process started in 2013 with the sale of large blocks of shares to institutional investors. Plans for a retail sale were launched but never came to fruition and the sales are continuing via a trading plan. All proceeds from the sales are used to reduce the national debt.