The government has off-loaded another £500m of its Lloyds holding Reuters

The British treasury has raised another £500m (€679m, $744m) from the sale of shares in Lloyds Banking Group, according to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

"We have raised a further £500m through Lloyds share sales. £9bn now recovered & being used to pay down our national debt," Osborne said in a post on Twitter.

According to a regulatory filing, the government's stake in the bank has come below 22%, following the latest share sale. The treasury now holds about 15.7bn shares in Lloyds.

The UK took a 40% stake in Lloyds when it was bailed out in 2009. As the bank's business has improved, the government announced it would reduce its stake in the bank gradually to recover taxpayers' money.

In December 2014, the Chancellor announced a six-month plan to raise funds for the public and accelerate Lloyds' return to private hands.

Lloyds shares are trading down 0.61% at £0.80 as at 08.08am GMT.