The UK government has disposed its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group, helping the bank return to private ownership after almost a decade.

The government last owned nearly 638 million shares in the bank, which have now been offloaded.

During the peak of the financial crisis, the government bought a 43% stake in Lloyds after infusing £20.3bn. The bank was forced to take the bailout following an ill-timed takeover of mortgage lender HBOS.

The sale of the stake helped the bank recoup £21.2bn, including over £400m in dividends, thereby making a £894m profit on its initial investment.

Lloyds CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “Today the government has sold its last shares in Lloyds Banking Group, receiving more money than was originally invested. Six years ago we inherited a business that was in a very fragile financial condition. Thanks to the hard work of everyone at Lloyds, we’ve turned the group around.”

Lloyds chairman Lord Blackwell added: “While we are proud of the progress we have made over the last few years, we recognise there is still a lot to do to transform Lloyds Banking Group into the best bank for customers and play our full role in helping Britain prosper.”