Lloyds TSB published their 2010 figures today. The key pieces of information are that they returned to profitability – with group profit of £2,212m compared to a £6,300m loss in the previous year. The year really marked a strengthening of their balance sheet (something that we all knew was going on – calling in loans and reducing lending). They term this as “good progress” to reduce “non-core assets” by £105bn and believe that they are on track to achieve the £200bn target over the next three years.
Behind the numbers are the results of Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical who achieved increasing profits which rose 11% and also note that new business has also increased. So those pensions have been selling like… well, er.. pensions.
The numbers are enormous. Perhaps the announcement that they will set aside £500m to meet goodwill payments as a result of Halifax messing up numerous mortgages between 2004-2007 will provide a little comfort to those with Halifax mortgages – this follows a voluntary agreement with the FSA over the review of numerous Halifax mortgages. I do feel a little sorry for the group who have been landed with one “hospital pass” after another – mind you, in 2008 the Lloyds TSB Board failed to notice the problems with HBOS fully and probably wish they had avoided the entire mess. Here is what Mr Daniels had to say in September 2008 when the merger between HBOS and Lloyds TSB, something about which is pretty difficult to find in the investor/media press releases via the lloyds TSB webste. You may remember that he said of HBOS..”We spent a lot of time over the last couple of days getting to know the business…. we think we understand pretty well the risks that we are running”.. anyone convinced?
The BBC website still carries the interview and of course the previous Prime Minister, one Gordon Brown.. remember him? thought it was “the right thing to be doing”. Ah the benefit of hindsight…I’m reminded of that adage about Angels treading carefully….


I don’t wish to be alarmist, but 24 hours after the Lloyds TSB announement of the £12bn HBOS deal, shares in Lloyds TSB closed at £2.375 on Thursday 18 September 2008. Today they are trading around £0.62, on this day in 2008 shares in Lloyds TSB closed at £4.665, whilst these have been “very difficult times” for Banks, it will be interesting to see how much the top dog at the Black Horse will get remunerated this year for bringing them back into profit… albeit with shareholdings nursing an 87% discount of the price they were at just 3 years ago, but hey, who’s counting?…oh… all of us!

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