Lloyds TSB bucks trend
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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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