July 27--The Government's 24.9 per cent stake in
The bank wants the earliest possible date for the launch of a public share offer for the state-owned stake worth about pounds sterling 13?billion.
An insider said October is being considered as the first opportunity, but pressing ahead with the plan would depend on a series of crucial hurdles, most important being the Scottish independence referendum in September.
Lloyds is based in Scotland and a Yes vote could raise too many questions about the bank's future to make a public share sale feasible.
Other obstacles include the Bank of England's stress tests on bank finances and its success in convincing regulators to let Lloyds start paying a dividend for the first time since its 2008 bail-out.
Sources said the share sale prospectus would need to be 'bombproof' so close to the May 2015 election.
The bank is set to unveil a loss for the first half of the year, including pounds sterling 500 million in new provisions for PPI mis-selling.
Lloyds spin-off TSB will reveal half-year numbers at the same time. Broker Credit Suisse predicts a full-year profit of pounds sterling 170 million.