Lloyds Banking Group has returned to profit for the first time since the financial crisis as share prices rose well past the level expected.
The bank, which is is 41% owned by the taxpayer, saw share prices rise to 71.75p - well above the 63.2p the taxpayer paid for shares when it bailed the group out in 2008 after it suffered a £6.3 billion loss following its acquisition of struggling bank HBOS.
According to Lloyds Banking Group shares have been on the up since January and yesterdays four per cent rise in the share price follows an increase in customer savings deposits, which grew by more than £5 billion in the first quarter.
The news that Lloyds has climbed out of the red will please investors and the Government, which was forced to find £20 billion to rescue the group.
Eric Daniels, group chief executive of Lloyds, said in a statement that the Group expects to remain profitable for the rest of the year: “The Group is continuing to see positive trends in line with our recent trading update on 19 March 2010.
“In particular, impairments have slowed significantly in the first few months of the year giving us confidence that we will achieve a better financial performance than previously guided.
“I am pleased to report that we returned to profitability in the first quarter and expect this momentum to be sustained throughout 2010.”
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