Lloyds profits more than double to £4.2bn

Lloyds Banking Group’s profits have more than doubled as the bailed-out bank shrugged off the Brexit vote and avoided further hefty charges for payment protection insurance mis-selling.

Its profits of £4.2bn are the highest for a decade and shares in the bank rose by 4%.

The bonus pool at the bank, in which taxpayers own a stake of just under 5%, increased by 11% while its chief executive, António Horta-Osório, was paid £5.5m for 2016.

Unlike at rival bailed-out bank Royal Bank of Scotland, shareholders are receiving a dividend of 3.05p a share, including a special payment of 0.5p.

Speculation has swirled that the Portuguese banker will walk away once the final part of the taxpayer’s holding in the bank is sold off – probably by May. However, he said: “The job is never done. I’m very happy at Lloyds.”

The bank’s profits have been weighed down in recent years by the cost of bad lending at HBOS – the bank that Lloyds took over during the 2008 financial crisis – and £17bn of charges to cover PPI compensation.

The bank avoided taking another provision for PPI in the last quarter of the year, which helped bolster its profits from £1.6bn a year ago. Underlying profits were down.

Even so, the bank’s total PPP charge for the full year amounted to £1bn – down from £4bn a year ago. It also took another charge of £1bn during the year for other compensation payouts, including a new £475m provision in the fourth quarter for complaints related to packaged bank accounts and other problematic products.

The author: Michel THEYS

Michel Theys, a Belgian native, began his career as a civil servant, serving the public for several decades. After retirement, he shifted gears to follow his passion for journalism. With a background in public administration, Theys brought a unique perspective to his reporting. His insightful articles, covering a wide array of topics, swiftly gained recognition. Today, Michel Theys is a respected journalist known for his balanced and thoughtful reporting in the Belgian media landscape.

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