Wednesday 18 September 2019

Lloyds sees profits rise on strong performance

The company saw pre-tax profits more than double to £1.95 billion in the three months to September 30.

Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Lloyds Banking Group has unveiled a hefty rise in third quarter profits as the once state backed lender hailed a “strong financial performance”.

The company saw pre-tax profits more than double to £1.95 billion in the three months to September 30.

The figure compares to £811 million in the same period last year, when Lloyds was hit by payment protection insurance (PPI) provisions.

Underlying profit for the period nudged up from £1.9 billion to £2 billion.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “In the first nine months of the year we have delivered strong financial performance with increased underlying and statutory profit, a significant improvement in returns and strong capital generation.

“These results highlight the strength of our customer focused, simple and low risk business model and the benefits of our competitive advantage in the UK.”

The results build on a strong run of form for Lloyds, which was fully returned to private hands in May, nearly nine years after the Government bailed it out at the height of the financial crisis.

At the peak, Lloyds was 43% owned by the state after its bailout during the banking crisis after taxpayers were forced to inject £20.3 billion into rescuing the bank.

The group has been dogged by PPI claims, having paid out over £18 billion to date to affected customers.

However, Lloyds took no additional charges in the quarter.

PPI claim levels did increase, though, following a Financial Conduct Authority advertising campaign featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of an effort to encourage people to come forward before an August 2019 deadline.

Lloyds said it saw 16,000 claims per week following the campaign, with the number then easing back to 11,000.

In the nine months to September 30, underlying pre-tax profit rose by 8% to £6.6 billion.

The group’s trading update comes as the bank and former bosses face accusations in court from shareholders that they were “mugged” during the takeover of Halifax Bank of Scotland in 2008.

A group of more than 5,800 former Lloyds TSB shareholders are suing Lloyds, former chairman Sir Victor Blank, ex-chief executive Eric Daniels, former chief financial officer Tim Tookey, one-time director of retail banking Helen Weir, and ex-director of wholesale banking George Truett Tate.

Lloyds is vigorously denying these claims, but the case is likely to see former bosses give evidence.

Adding to its troubles, Lloyds – which rescued HBOS at the height of the financial crisis – is still in the process of paying victims of fraud at the hands of HBOS Reading staff between 2003 and 2007, having set aside £100 million in the first quarter to deal with those compensation costs.

Among the claimants is TV star Noel Edmonds.

PA Media

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