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Lloyds TSB bucks trend

Lloyds TSB bucks trend Mar 4 2005

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By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

LLOYDS TSB today bucked the trend of record earnings for UK banks by reporting a 20% fall in annual pre-tax profits to 3.5bn.

The banking group said the decline was due to the sale of businesses which contributed nearly 1.2bn in profits in 2003.

However, Lloyds said pre-tax profits from continuing operations rose by 10% to 3.4bn as all divisions improved their performance.

Last month, HSBC unveiled annual profits of 9.18bn - the highest figure recorded by a UK-based bank. A few days later, Royal Bank of Scotland unveiled record profits of 8.1bn.

Despite the profits fall, Lloyds said its 2004 figures reflected a "higher quality" of earnings than in previous years after it sold off five Latin American businesses that had adversely affected its performance.

Those operations incurred losses totalling more than 200m in the five years to 2003.

Earnings lost from the sale of Lloyds' businesses in New Zealand and Brazil were replaced within a year, as the group focused on its main businesses.

Retail banking pre-tax profits rose by 5% to 1.8bn - helped by strong balance growth in mortgages, Credit Debt cards and personal loans.

Pre-tax profits for insurance and investment operations rose by 18% to 785m - boosted by a 21% rise in new business at Scottish Widows. Wholesale and international banking lifted pre-tax profits by 23% to 1.3bn.

In November, it said it planned to transfer up to 1,000 jobs from the UK to India by the end of next year.

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