Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it has returned to growth in the first six months of the year.
It reported pre-tax profits of just over £1.6 billion for the first half of 2010, a marked turnaround from the almost £4 billion loss during the same period last year.
Many of the losses incurred last year were a result of taking over HBOS. Halifax and Cheltenham & Gloucester are also part of the Lloyds Banking Group.
The profits at the bank, which is part public owned following the bank bail-outs, is largely due to the fall in the amount of money put aside for bad loans, having fallen from £13.4 billion to £6.5 billion.
The group highlighted the £14.9 billion gross lending it had committed to UK homeowners, including £2.5 billion to first time buyers.
In addition, 880,000 new current accounts have been opened with Lloyds Banking Group over the first six months of the year, as well as 2.6 million new savings accounts, which attracted £6.6 billion in funds.
The Group has also committed £23.7 billion of lending to UK businesses, including £5.7 billion to small and medium sized firms.
The group is obliged to lend a certain amount as part of its public-owned status, but said that with plans to help 100,000 start-ups per year over the next three years, it was ahead of its targets.
"The first half of 2010 was a significant milestone for Lloyds Banking Group as the Group returned to profit," commented Lloyds.
"Despite the challenging economic environment, the core business performed strongly and we continued to see positive momentum across all key income statement lines."
The Lloyds results come in the same week that HSBC announced profits of £7 billion, and Northern Rock revealed that the good part of its bank made a pre-tax loss of £142.6 million.
The bad part of the bank – used to house old mortgages and unsecured loans – delivered a profit of almost £350 million.
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