Lloyds sees profits surge


Lloyds Banking Group has hailed a “landmark year” as it posted a 24 per cent surge in profits and unveiled plans to invest more than £3bn as part of a new three-year strategy.

The group reported bottom line pre-tax profits of £5.3bn for 2017, up from £4.2bn in 2016.

On an underlying basis, profits rose 8 per cent to £8.5bn.

The profit hike comes despite a mammoth £1.7bn hit from the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal last year, after Lloyds revealed an extra £600m put by for compensation in the fourth quarter.

Boss Antonio Horta-Osorio also unveiled a new three-year strategic plan which will see the bank invest more than £3bn and focus on boosting its digital capabilities.

This will include its “biggest ever investment in people” as it looks to increase staff training and development by 50 per cent to 4.4 million hours a year to embrace new technology.

The update follows the bank’s return to private ownership last summer, nearly nine years after being bailed out at the height of the financial crisis.

Mr Horta-Osorio said: “2017 has been a landmark year in which the group has made significant strategic progress and returned to full private ownership.”

He added: “We have delivered another year of strong financial performance with improved profit and returns on both a statutory and underlying basis and have now built the largest and top rated digital bank in the UK.”

Pay details released alongside the results also showed that Mr Horta-Osorio saw his base salary rise to £1.2m from £1.1m, alongside additional increases to his long-term incentive plan and benefits.

It brings his total remuneration package to £6.42m, up from £5.79m.