The Treasury have announced plans to sell at least 2 billion pounds worth of shares in Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) to retail investors, in a move that will further reduce the government’s 12 percent share in the bank.

According to George Osborne, the sale is aimed at encouraging ordinary Britons to invest in the stock market. The shares will go on sale in Spring 2016, and people applying for investments of less than 1,000 pounds will be prioritised. Shares will be offered to the public at a 5% discount on market price.

The finance ministry also stated that those who keep their shares for at least 12 months will get one bonus share for every 10 they own.

This is the latest in a string of plans to plans to privatise British government-owned companies. The new Conservative government is appearing to follow in the footsteps of their predecessor Margaret Thatcher, who sold shares worth £3.9bn in British Telecom and a £5.6bn stake in British Gas.

The government have continued to cut their stake in the bank down from the 43 percent share it owned after the financial crisis.

Lloyds Banking Group is currently up 1.6 percent at 77.7 pence per share (0933GMT).

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