Britain has sold another 1% in state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group for £500m, matching last month's sale, the government said today. 

The Treasury announced in a statement that the sale has trimmed its stake from 24% to just under 23%, under plans to return Lloyds to private hands. 

Britain still owns a large chunk of Lloyds after bailing it out with £20 billion of taxpayers' cash at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis. 

The government initially took a 39% share of Lloyds and has so far raised about £8.5 billion selling bits of its holding. 

British Finance minister George Osborne had revealed a six-month plan in December to reduce the stake. 

"I am delighted that we've raised a further £500m for the taxpayer through the trading plan," he said. "These sales are part of our plan to return Lloyds to the private sector and get taxpayers' money back. The proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt," he added. 

The shares were sold above the average price that the previous Labour government had paid for them, which was 73.6 pence. 

Late last month, Lloyds had posted its first annual net profit since the 2008 bailout, edging it closer to a return to full private ownership. 

The bank recorded a profit after tax of £1.125 billion last year compared with a net loss of £838m in 2013.