Friday 20 April 2018

Lloyds Bank profits rise by 21pc

Signs are seen outside a branch of Lloyds Bank in central London October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
Signs are seen outside a branch of Lloyds Bank in central London October 28, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Britain's biggest retail bank Lloyds Banking Group reported a 21pc rise in underlying pretax profit for the first quarter, reflecting an improved margin and lower losses for bad debts.

The state-backed lender said on Friday it made a pretax profit before one-off items of £2.2bn for the three months to the end of March, at the top end of expectations, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

The bank said losses from bad debts fell 59pc from a year ago to £177m. Asset quality this year should be better than previously indicated, it said.

Its net interest margin -- the difference between interest it gets from borrowers and what it pays to savers, a key driver of revenues -- jumped 33 basis points to 2.65pc. It said it expects to exceed previous guidance for its NIM to be 2.55pc this year.

Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has turned Lloyds' fortunes around, enabling Britain to sell half its 41pc stake in the bank, which was rescued at a cost of £20bn to taxpayers during the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Lloyds announced its first dividend in February since being bailed out and the Conservative party has said it will sell a further £9bn worth of shares in the next year should it win the election, including a sale to retail investors.

Lloyds said it planned to pay a dividend for the half-year and full year for 2015, as previously guided.

The bank made a statutory profit of £1.2bn, down 11pc on the year, after incorporating a £660m charge on the sale of its challenger bank TSB to Spain's Banco de Sabadell.

Reuters

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