Lloyds cheers 'landmark year' after profits jump higher


Lloyds Banking Group has hailed a "landmark year" as it posted a 24% surge in profits and unveiled plans to invest more than £3 billion as part of a new three-year strategy.

The group reported bottom line pre-tax profits of £5.3 billion for 2017, up from £4.2 billion in 2016.

On an underlying basis, profits rose 8% to £8.5 billion.

The profit hike comes despite a mammoth £1.7 billion hit from the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal last year, after Lloyds revealed an extra £600 million put by for compensation in the fourth quarter.

Lloyds Banking Group
Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio saw his total pay package rise 11% to £6.4 million (PA)

Boss Antonio Horta-Osorio also unveiled a new three-year strategic plan which will see the bank invest more than £3 billion and focus on boosting its digital capabilities.

This will include its "biggest ever investment in people" as it looks to increase staff training and development by 50% to 4.4 million hours a year to embrace new technology.

The update follows the bank's return to private ownership last summer, nearly nine years after being bailed out at the height of the financial crisis.

Mr Horta-Osorio said: "2017 has been a landmark year in which the group has made significant strategic progress and returned to full private ownership."

He added: "We have delivered another year of strong financial performance with improved profit and returns on both a statutory and underlying basis and have now built the largest and top rated digital bank in the UK."

Pay details released alongside the results also showed that Mr Horta-Osorio saw his base salary rise to £1.2 million from £1.1 million, alongside additional increases to his long-term incentive plan and benefits.

It brings his total remuneration package to £6.42 million, up from £5.79 million.