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Lloyds bank says interim net profits more than halve
Britain's state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group said on Thursday that net profits slumped 57 percent in the first half, hit by compensation for insurance mis-selling and fin...
Lloyds bank says interim net profits more than halve140169e05808f5767049b3cbab57a99d8716ddbc.jpg
afp.com / Pool / Luke MacGregor
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne uses a cash machine at a brank of Lloyds TSB bank in central London on June 19, 2013
Britain's state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group said on Thursday that net profits slumped 57 percent in the first half, hit by compensation for insurance mis-selling and fines over Libor rate rigging.
Earnings after taxation dived to £665 million ($1.125 billion, 840 million euros) in the six months to June.
That was down from £1.560 billion a year earlier when results were boosted by sales of assets and government bonds, LBG said in a statement.
The bank added however that underlying profit, which strips out one-off costs and provisions, rallied 32 percent to £3.82 billion.
And charges for problems such as bad loans dropped 58 percent to £758 million, helped by Britain's improving economy.
"We continued to successfully execute our strategy, further enhancing our leading cost position and low cost of equity, by investing in the products and services our customers need and further strengthening and de-risking our balance sheet, reducing costs and increasing efficiency," said LBG chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.
"As a result, we substantially improved our underlying financial performance and delivered a statutory profit, despite further charges for legacy issues."
The lender's performance was hit by £1.1 billion of legacy charges, including this week's £217-million fine for its role in the Libor interbank rate-rigging scandal.
Part of the fine also related to attempts by the bank, which is 25-percent owned by the British taxpayer, to manipulate fees for participation in a government-backed scheme to support lenders during the global financial crisis.
Lloyds also took another £600-million hit to cover compensation to customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance, taking its total PPI bill to £10.4 billion including administrative costs.
The bank meanwhile forecast that full-year statutory pre-tax profit would be "significantly" ahead of the first half, while it will seek in the second half to resume payment of shareholder dividends.
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Essential news in text, photo, graphic and video format31/07/2014 - 03:20
Former aide to Britain's Prince Philip charged with sex abuse
AFP / Justin Tallis
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Epsom Derby Festival in Surrey, southern England, on June 7, 2014
The former personal assistant of Britain's Prince Philip has been charged with sexually abusing a girl while he was working for the royal family in the 1970s, prosecutors said.
Benjamin Herman, 79, was the personal assistant or "equerry" to the 93-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth from 1971 to 1974.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Herman would appear in court on Monday.
"He is charged with three counts of indecent assault between 1972 and 1974 on a girl aged around 12," the spokesman said.
Herman's role was to attend to Philip's engagements and personal matters, and he later became the head of the household of Philip's daughter Princess Anne.
Newspaper the Daily Mirror reported that police had examined Philip's official diaries from the time and had taken statements from former palace staff.
A police spokesman would not comment on whether former palace staff had been interviewed, and a spokesman for Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
Britain has been rocked by a series of scandals involving historic child abuse by prominent figures.
The Mirror reported that the alleged victim had come forward following the 2012 revelation that the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile was a prolific sexual predator, which sparked a wave of investigations.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to leave "no stone unturned" in investigating accusations, including claims of a paedophile ring involving senior politicians in the 1970s and 1980s.
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