Lloyds Announces £10.8bn Losses

Lloyds Banking Group has announced it made a pre-tax loss of £10.8 billion in 2008, following its take-over of ailing rival HBOS.

The former Lloyds TSB business saw profits slashed 80% to £807 million, in what was described as a "resilient underlying business performance".

The combined group - which is 43% owned by the taxpayer - said it was currently in talks with the Treasury about placing toxic assets in the governments new asset protection insurance scheme.

However, a failure to agree terms in time for the bank’s results will come as a blow to Lloyds, which had hoped to finalise a deal by this morning.

The losses come just one day after Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) posted a record UK loss of £24.1 billion for 2008 and a fresh injection of taxpayer cash.

So far, the taxpayer has pumped a total of £17 billion into Lloyds and RBS.

Lloyds executive Eric Daniels said: "Against a backdrop of recession and an ongoing global financial crisis, we expect 2009 to be another challenging year."

He also warned there would be "some staffing reductions" resulting from the £1.5 billion cost-saving programme under way following the merger.

Mr Daniels said he hoped to make the majority of the cuts through natural staff turnover or limited voluntary redundancy programmes.

Derek Simpson, joint leader of Unite said: "The huge losses announced by Lloyds Banking Group further illustrate the dire straits in which the financial system finds itself.

"More than ever it is essential that the new Lloyds Banking Group retains and protects its hard working staff.

"Now is not the time to reduce what is clearly the bank's greatest asset - its staff.

"As the taxpayer looks to insure the assets of this and other financial organisations it is vital that jobs are retained.

He continued: "Staff cannot be dumped on the dole where taxpayers will simply have to pay again.

"We will oppose any compulsory redundancies or offshoring of UK jobs from the bank."

See: Ex-RBS Boss Urged To Give Up Pension, As 'Largest Annual Losses' Announced


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