Belfast Telegraph

Lloyds Bank defends performance as profits plunge 46%

By Holly Williams

Lloyds Banking Group has insisted it delivered a "robust" performance in the first three months of the year despite posting falling profits.

The lending giant saw bottom-line profits nearly halve, down 46% to £654m in the first quarter, as it was hit by charges from buying back expensive bonds from investors.

Profits fell 6% to £2.1bn on an underlying basis, but it said that excluding the TSB business sold last year, profits were "stable" on a year earlier.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, group chief executive of Lloyds, claimed the results showed the group's ability to "actively respond to the challenging operating environment". However, shares fell 2% after the results.

Lloyds took a £790m charge from its controversial decision to buy back £3bn of high-interest bonds, also called "enhanced capital notes".

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