The sale raised around £4.2bn and will reduce the government holding in Lloyds to less than 25%. If the sums being speculated on in the market are right the sale will have seen a profit of circa £130m for the government based on its acquisition price.

Does this pave the way for a further sale in 2014?

This is a distinct possibility should the current market volatility abate and a resolution be found to the Ukraine problem. Sanctions against Russia will hurt the EU as well as the Russian economy, and there is a strong incentive on both sides to find a resolution.

There is an outside chance Lloyds could be out of State ownership by the May 2015 election.