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Lloyds a race-winning tortoise

Conservative shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond has urged banks to learn from Lloyds TSB – a race-winning “tortoise” compared with the failed hares of the banking sector.

Speaking at a fringe meeting, Hammond said that Lloyds TSB was an example to the rest of the banking sector despite being ridiculed in the past for modest growth plans.

He said: “For years, Lloyds Bank was pilloried for its lack of league performance. People were asking why it wasn’t getting involved in all this go-go banking that was generating all those fantastic profits. What was the matter with it?

“Well, it was the story of the hare and the tortoise – Lloyds with its conservative practices and its conservative balance sheet crawled up the inside lane and snapped up all the hares as they collapsed just before the finishing line.

“I think that is a very important lesson that will bring comfort to those that favour a more conservative style of investment and one that if people remember will help to rein back the excesses next time.”

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