Britain has sold an extra 7.8% stake in state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group for £4.2 billion, it said today. 

The latest sale takes the government's total holding in the bailed-out bank from 32.7% to 24.9%, the Treasury added in a statement.

The UK government had already sold a 6% tranche in September for £3.2 billion, at 75 pence per share, as it seeks to return LBG to the private sector.

"I can confirm this morning that we have sold a further 4.2 billion of shares in Lloyds Banking Group at 75.5 pence a share, taking the taxpayer's stake down to below a quarter of the bank," said the UK's Finance Minister George Osborne.

"This represents good value for the taxpayer and the money will again be used to reduce the national debt. This is another step in the government's long term economic plan to deliver a more secure and resilient economy. It is another step in repairing the banks, in reducing our national debt and in getting the taxpayer's money back," he added.

UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the state's bank holdings, had already announced late last night that it would seek to sell about 7.5% 
Banking giant Lloyds giant was bailed out at the top of the 2008 financial crisis with £20 billion of government money.

Lloyds Banking Group was created by a merger of Lloyds TSB and rival British lender HBOS amid the global financial crisis.

However, HBOS was saddled with toxic or high-risk property investments, and LBG subsequently received a vast state bailout.