Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bankster Facts?

Lloyds Banking Group annual accounts are well-nigh indecipherable.

Take, for example, the simple question: did this banking giant make a profit or a loss last year? The snap headline number looked impressive: “underlying profit” soared 140 per cent to £6.2 billion. “Core underlying profit” was up 24 per cent at £7.6bn”. Impressive, you might think, fully entitling Antonio Horta Osario to his maximum annual award of £2.38 million, equivalent to 225 per cent of his £1.06m salary.

Less impressive, however, is a line called “statutory profit before tax”. And after asset sales, liability management and volatile items (£280m), simplification and Verde costs (£1.5 bn), “legacy items” (£3.4bn) and other items (£499m) this comes to £415m. Take away tax of £1.2bn and Lloyds made a loss for the year of £802m.

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