Lloyds Banking Group’s pre-tax profits have jumped 23 per cent to hit £1.6bn for the quarter, latest results show.
For the three months to the end of March, the bank has reported net income of £4,3bn, up 4 per cent year on year, as Lloyds sounded a bullish note on the prospects for the UK economy moving forward in 2018.
Chief executive António Horta-Osório says: “The UK economy continues to be resilient, benefiting from low unemployment and continued GDP growth. Asset quality remains strong with no deterioration seen across the portfolio. We expect the economy to continue to perform along these lines during 2018.”
Horta-Osório said the strength of the results had led to the start of a £1bn share buyback programme last month to return money to stakeholders.
The bank has budgeted an additional £90m to cover payment protection insurance claims after a government tweak in the criteria for applications.
Lloyds says the results have also been adjusted to reflect strategic investments including subsidiary Scottish Widows’ acquisition of Zurich’s workplace pensions business.
Unveiling a new three year strategy in February, Lloyds said it would boost its financial planning and retirement open book assets by more than £50bn by 2020 and target more than one million new pension customers