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Lloyds Banking Group 'Stronger' Despite £3.5bn Loss

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Part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group said on Friday that it is "in a significantly stronger position than it was 12 months ago" despite unveiling total losses of £3.5bn for last year.

The losses, which compare with a £281m profit the previous year and are driven by a £3.2bn hit to tackle the payment protection insurance scandal, are nearly twice the size of those at fellow state-backed bank Royal Bank of Scotland.

Lloyds said its total bonus pool for last year was £375m, down 30% against 2010, with the average bonus of £3,900 for each of its 100,000 staff.

However, stripping out the PPI charge and other one-off costs, the 40% state-owned bank made a £2.7bn profit in 2011, up 21% on the same measure in the previous year.

In contrast to RBS, Lloyds, which has no investment banking arm, has managed to duck the bonus row so far, after its chief executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio, waived his bonus following an extended absence due to ill-health.

On Thursday taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has announced it lost £2bn in 2011, while also paying more than £785m in bonuses to staff.

The average bonus per employee was £5,346, whereas the average bonus per investment banker was £22,941.

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