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Banking recovery continues as Lloyds Banking Group returns to profit

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by Kay Mitchell
”Banking

Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41% owned by the Government, has today reported it returned to profit in the first six months of 2010, revealing profits of £1.6 billion, against a loss of £4 billion a year earlier.

The rise in profits was primarily due to reduced writedowns with bad loans falling from £13.4 billion to £6.6 billion.

The results are a major turning point for the bank which has been widely criticised for its disastrous takeover of HBOS.

Since the takeover at the height of the financial crisis, Lloyds has axed tens of thousands of jobs due to overlap within the banking giant, as it seeks to cut costs.

However, the vast amount of job losses has helped it to improve profits.

The bank said: “The first half of 2010 was a significant milestone for Lloyds Banking Group as the group returned to profit.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, the core business performed strongly and we continued to see positive momentum across all the key income lines.”

The figures come just a few days after banking giant HSBC reported profits more than doubled, exceeding analysts expectations.

HSBC, which is Europe’s largest bank, announced a pre-tax profit of $11.1 billion (£7 billion) for the six months to the end of June, compared with $5 billion in the same period a year ago.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is 83% owned by the Government, will unveil its first half profits on Friday.

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News posted: August 4, 2010

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