LONDON The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) said it is now in a position for Britain to start selling its 20 billion pound stake in the lender, although the timing is up to the finance ministry.
"It is up to the government to decide how and when to do it. I believe we have completed the first phase ... the share price is now in a position where the government can return taxpayers' money at a profit," Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio told reporters on a conference call.
Lloyds said on Thursday it expects to meet its targets on cost savings, capital strength and margins earlier than expected, adding to an expectation Britain may start selling its shares this month or next.
(Reporting by Steve Slater: Editing by Carmel Crimmins)