Lloyds banks rising profit on ‘resilient’ economy

London

Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group, bailed out by the government during the global financial crisis, on Wednesday logged strong first-quarter profits on the back of the “resilient” UK economy. Earnings after taxation, or net profits, jumped 29 percent to £1.15 billion ($1.61 billion, 1.31 billion euros) in the three months to the end of March from a year earlier, the lender said in a results statement. LBG, which returned to full private ownership last year following its financial rescue by the UK government a decade ago, added that pre-tax profits swelled 23 percent to £1.6 billion. The group however took another £90 million in costs for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling claims, taking its total bill for the saga to an eye-watering £18.8 billion. The London-listed financial services giant, whose brands include Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows, operates primarily in Britain with about 27 million commercial and residential customers. “We have made a strong start to 2018,” said chief executive Antonio Hora-Osorio. “The UK economy continues to be resilient, benefiting from low unemployment and continued GDP (gross domestic product) growth,” he added.—AFP

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