(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Thur, 20th Feb 2020) London, Uk – –
A surge in complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) weighed on Lloyds' finances last year.
The UK banking giant posted a 26% drop in pre-tax profits to £4.4bn as it paid out billions of pounds to customers in PPI compensation.
The bill for PPI claims in 2019 would be about £2.5bn, but Lloyds said no further provisions were needed as it had already set aside enough money.
It brings the total paid out by Lloyds over the mis-selling saga to £21.9bn.
Lloyds said there had been a “significant increase” in queries about PPI claims ahead of a deadline to claim in August last year.
The deadline, set by the City regulator, prompted a rush of enquiries, which pushed the bank's bill up from £750m in 2018.
“The group's statutory performance was impacted by a substantial PPI charge related to the deadline for claims submission,” the bank's boss António Horta-Osório, said in a statement.
Lloyds has the biggest bill of all the banks for mis-selling of the insurance policy – which was intended to cover loan payments if, for instance, customers fell ill. But the insurance was often sold to people who did not want it or did not need it.
In the run up to the deadline, Lloyds said it had received about 5 million new claims but only about 10% of those resulted in a compensation payment. “Historic conduct issues remain disappointing but we continue to be focused on doing the right thing for our customers,” Mr Horta-Osorio said.
Last year, Lloyds faced criticism for its handling of a multi-million pound scam at a branch of HBOS, which it now owns. Mr Horta-Osorio promised to implement recommendations of a report that said a scheme to compensate customers had “serious shortcomings”.
“We have apologised to those impacted and are determined to put things right,” he said.
Despite the surge in PPI claims, John Moore, an investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said Lloyds appeared to be in a “decent place”. “Lloyds' performance is typically a reflection of the wider UK economic situation,” he said. “Political uncertainty influenced business and consumer confidence last year; yet, despite this challenge, the bank has posted resilient results.”
Mr Horta-Osorio took the helm after bank was rescued during the 2008 financial crisis. The government sold its final stake in the bank in 2017.