By Jonathan Davies

The government has sold another 1% of its stake in Lloyds Banking Group.

The latest share sale means the taxpayer owns 16% of the bank. The government's share was reduced to 17% just nine days ago, suggesting it has sold roughly £600 million worth of shares in just over a week.

More than £12bn has been raised by selling around two thirds of its original stake. The government paid £20 billion to buy a 43.3% stake in Lloyds Banking Group at the height of the financial crisis.

At 86.6p, Lloyds' current share price is above the 73.6p price the government paid for each share.

The government is expected to begin selling to smaller investors in the next year.

"Today’s announcement shows the further progress made in returning Lloyds Banking Group to full private ownership and enabling the taxpayer to get their money back," the bank said.

"This reflects the hard work undertaken over the last four years to transform the group into a simple, low-risk and customer-focused bank that is committed to helping Britain prosper."