Halifax brand praised as Lloyds posts loss

Accord boss: Ged Nichols
Accord boss: Ged Nichols

LOSSES at Lloyds Banking Group were limited by a good performance from the Halifax brand.

It announced a £3.5 billion loss for last year but had to put aside £3.2 billion for compensation to cover payment protection claims.

Analysts say the results were as expected in challenging conditions.

And, Accord Union General Secretary Ged Nichols, said the Halifax brand - in which Lloyds are investing heavily - did well.

“There are no details of each brand but our belief is Halifax stood up well and made a massive contribution to the group’s results,” he said.

“Halifax has something to be proud of.”

Even though the results were not good they would have been worse without the Halifax, he said.

Mr Nichols said the bank was in `good health` and the Halifax brand is very strong going forward.

But, he said the union would continuing fighting for staff affected by the integration following the takeover of HBOS.

Some Halifax staff were told this week they would have to re-apply for their jobs for a second time.

Mr Nicols said it was expected with all the changes that some staff would have to go through the process once.

“It’s very stressful for people to have to go through more than one change,” he said.

“All we can do is offer the best support and guidance to get the best result for them.”

Lloyds is now 41 per cent owned by the taxpayer and employs 6,000 people in Calderdale.

Despite the losses it has a £375 million bonus pool for 2011 for its 100,000 staff.

It said it was in a significantly stronger position than 12 months ago - for 2010 it reported a pre-tax profit of £281 million.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “In 2011, we established our longer term strategy for the Group.

“We acted quickly and decisively to mitigate the effects of a challenging environment and put in place the right foundations to deliver on our objectives over the next three to five years, whilst continuing to support the UK economy.

“Using the framework set out in our Strategic Review, we accelerated strengthening our balance sheet, decreasing risk and reducing costs. The investments we made have strengthened our franchise, and created new opportunities.”