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Bailed out by public money, UK's Lloyds bank zooms to $2.5 billion profit

Lloyds Banking Group announced soaring annual profits on Wednesday on lower charges linked to an insurance scandal, as it awaits a full return to the private sector following a state bailout. Net profit surged more than four times to £2 billion ($2.5 billion, e2.4 billion) in 2016 compared with net profit of £466 million a year earlier, LBG said in an earnings release. "We have delivered strong financial performance in 2016 as we continue to make good progress against our strategic priorities," group CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio said.

LBG said it took another £1 billion hit to compensate customers who were mis-sold insurance, although this was much reduced compared with a bill of £4 billion in 2015 regarding the same issue. Lloyds' compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) now totals more than £17 billion– far in excess of other British banks caught up in the long-running scandal.
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