Lloyds Banking Group, which employs more than 1,000 people in Gloucestershire, has confirmed plans to float a 25 per cent stake in its TSB business on the stock market.
It is the latest twist in a long saga for the 25 per cent state-owned bank, which was bailed out by UK taxpayers in 2008.
Next month’s flotation of TSB will see small investors offered one free share for every 20 shares they buy (up to the value of £2,000), with the stipulation they must be held for a period of one year after the flotation.
TSB, which has one of its key centres in Barnwood, Gloucester, has 631 branches, including those in Quedgeley, Cirencester, Dursley, Gloucester, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Hucclecote, Wotton-under-Edge and Ross-on-Wye, and 4.5million retail customers, making it the seventh largest retail bank in the UK.
It has rebranded the sites as TSB after the collapse of a deal to sell them to the Co-op, after it emerged the Co-op Bank had a £1.5billion hole in its finances.
António Horta-Osório, Lloyds Banking Group chief executive, said: “The decision to proceed with an initial public offering of TSB is an important further step for the group as we act to meet our commitments to the European Commission.
“TSB has a national network of branches, a strong balance sheet and significant economic protection against legacy issues.”
Lloyds must sell its remaining stake in TSB before the end of 2015.
At the start of May Lloyds was at last able to reveal some good news, announcing its underlying profits had risen by 22 per cent to £1.8billion in the first quarter of 2014.
Lloyds Banking Group was ordered to spin off more than 600 branches under EU rules on state aid.
Lloyds Bank also owns and runs Cheltenham & Gloucester Plc from Barnwood. The one-time building society now operates as one of its savings divisions.
According to TSB, job opportunities continue to exist within its business and it will be at the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen Careers Show on June 17 at the Thistle Cheltenham Hotel to showcase some of those vacancies.