By Jonathan Davies

The government has sold another £500 million worth of shares in Lloyds Bank, reducing its stake in the part-taxpayer-owned bank to less than 20%.

It took a 40% stake for £20bn in 2008 as part of the bailout in 2008.

UK Financial Investments, the body set up to manage the government's stake, has steadily been selling shares over the past year. The government's stake in Lloyds is now 19.93% and has reduced by 5% since the start of the year.

Lloyds said it would pay £535m in dividends after a strong financial year in which it reported £1.8bn profits - £180m of the dividends will go to the government.