PROFITS at Lloyds Bank rocketed and it spent £2 billion on buying back its own shares, results that may increase pressure for a windfall tax on the banking sector.
The bank, part state owned until recently, saw profits for 2021 soar from £1.2 billion last time to £6.9 billion.
That does allow it to up the dividend 4-fold to 2p a share. That will benefit many thousands of small shareholders since it is one of the most widely held shares for retail investors.
The typical retail shareholder with about 6000 shares gets a cheque of about £80.
New CEO Charlie Nunn says the bank is focussed on “helping Britain recover” from the pandemic. He said: “Since joining the Group in August 2021, I have been impressed by the Group’s purpose-driven culture.”
Nunn was paid £5.5 million in that six-month period, thanks for a £4.2m buyout of shares he held in HSBC, his previous employer. His total pay less that was still £1.2 million.
Former CEO Sir Antonio Horta-Osorio got £2.5 million, including bonuses of £1.5 million.
Horta-Osorio joined Credit Suisse, but departed following a scandal about his breaching Covid rules to attend sporting events such as Wimbledon.
Finance chief William Chalmers was paid £2.3 million.
Nunn says he plans to offer customers a “simpler, faster” experience. He wants a “step change” in the group’s tech offer that will generate higher returns.
The bank has been working closely with the government on the Russia situation to enforce sanctions and prepare for possible cyber attacks.
Lloyds is not hugely exposed to Russia, it says.
The shares today fell 4p to 48p.
It has had to set aside £1.3 billion to deal with the fallout from the HBOS Reading scandal that saw advisers milk millions from struggling small firms.
The money was spent on holidays, sex parties and watches.
Some bankers were sent to jail in 2017, the judge saying to one he had “sold your soul, for sex, for luxury trips with and without your wife”.
A diary entry from one of the sex workers they used read: “Met guys, me, Amber and Suzie. Chinese meal. Then drinks at flat and quick shag. Easy £1,500.”