Lloyds profit jumps despite UK outlook, motor finance provision

LLOYDS Banking Group reported a 57 per cent bounce in revenue for 2023 on Thursday (Feb 22), as Britain’s faltering financial system and a cost for potential prices from a regulatory evaluate into motor finance did not put a significant dent in its efficiency.

Lloyds reported pre-tax revenue of £7.5 billion (S$12.7 billion) for the 12-month interval, up from £4.8 billion the prior yr and barely above the £7.4 billion common of analyst forecasts compiled by the financial institution.

The group which additionally spans the Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows manufacturers introduced a remaining dividend of 1.84 pence and a share buyback of £2 billion.

As Britain’s largest home lender, Lloyds’ fortunes are inextricably linked with these of the broader financial system – which official information confirmed this month entered a recession within the second half of 2023.

But like its rivals, Lloyds has loved an enormous enhance to lending revenues from greater Bank of England rates of interest – which underpin borrowing prices – whereas containing losses from potential dangerous loans as extra debtors really feel the pinch.

Lloyds put aside £308 million to cowl potential unpaid loans, properly down on £1.5 billion the prior yr.

The financial institution additionally set out muted efficiency steering for the yr forward, amid harder competitors for mortgage and deposit pricing.

The financial institution reported a web curiosity margin (NIM) – a key measure of underlying financial institution profitability – of two.98 per cent within the remaining three months of the yr, down to three.08 per cent within the third quarter.

Lloyds stated its NIM was forecast to fall to 2.9 per cent this yr. That in flip drove steering for returns for 2024 to only 13 per cent, down from 15.8 per cent in 2023 earlier than recovering to fifteen per cent by 2026, the financial institution stated.

One potential main danger forward for Lloyds lies in an ongoing regulatory evaluate into suspected historic overcharging by automobile finance lenders – a market during which the financial institution is a giant participant by its subsidiary Black Horse.

Lloyds put aside £450 million to cowl doable redress. Some analysts estimate the financial institution’s potential prices may rise as excessive as £2 billion.

Analysts at RBC have estimated the sector’s whole compensation invoice may attain £16 billion, which might make it the most costly banking scandal since mis-selling of fee safety insurance coverage (PPI).

Lloyds additionally introduced it had appointed former Banco Santander government Nathan Bostock to its board, after deputy chairman Alan Dickinson stated he would step down on finishing 9 years of service.

Bostock was chief government officer of the Spanish lender’s UK arm from 2014 till 2022, and earlier than that served briefly as finance director for RBS. REUTERS