LONDON- Britain's government said on Wednesday it would slash its bond sales in the coming financial year, taking them back towards pre-pandemic levels.

The Debt Management Office said it planned to issue 124.7 billion pounds of gilts in the 2022/23 financial year which starts next month, down from almost 195 billion pounds in the soon-to-end financial year.

The DMO said its new total included 10 billion pounds of green bonds.

Gilt issuance in the five years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic averaged about 125 billion pounds a year, before desperate measures to prevent the collapse of Britain's economy pushed bond sales to a record 485.8 billion pounds in 2020/21.

A Reuters poll of primary dealers - the banks hired by the government to create a liquid market for its debt - had pointed to a 2022/23 remit of around 147 billion pounds.

Investors responded to the announcement by buying British government bonds and the 10-year gilt yield, which moves in the opposite direction to prices, extended a fall on the day and was down by around 7 basis points at 1.633%.

The DMO said it planned 23.2 billion pounds of net Treasury bill sales, a little more than the 20 billion pounds pencilled in by dealers in the poll.

The new remit showed five planned gilt sales via syndication. (Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by William Schomberg and Kate Holton)