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Lloyds bank reports better-than-expected figures

Lloyds bank today reported better-than-expected figures for the year ended 31 December 2009 although there was still a pre-tax loss of £6.3 billion. This compares with a loss of £6.7 billion for the previous year and is markedly better than the £7.4 billion loss expected by many analysts. While this is certainly a step in the right direction there is still much work to be done with the group's impairment charge touching nearly £24 billion against £14.9 billion in 2008.

Interestingly the impairment charge for the second half of 2009 was 21% lower than the first half which would indicate an improving trading situation and improving market conditions. This comes at a time when the rest of the UK banking sector would appear to be on the verge of recovery with the likes of Barclays bank reporting record profits and leading the sector forward.

While Lloyds bank and Royal Bank of Scotland, two banks with prominent government influence, may well lag the sector in the short term they will at some point be returned to full private sector ownership. Hopefully now we will see an increase in liquidity in both consumer and business markets at a time when the UK economy needs all the help it can get.

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