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Lloyds sets aside £900m for payments over PPI scandal

Lloyds sets aside total of £900m for PPI payments. Credit: PA

Lloyds balance sheet had to take into account one off charges including a £900 million increase in provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal. It takes the running total of the sum set aside for PPI by Lloyds to £11.32 billion.

Over the last three years the successful delivery of our strategy has ensured that we have become a safe, highly efficient, UK-focused retail and commercial bank.

The next phase of our strategy will use these strong foundations as a basis for meeting the rapidly-changing needs of our customers, and sets out how we will grow the business in a way that will deliver increasing and sustainable returns for our shareholders.

– Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio

The job cuts announced by Lloyds represent around 10% of its current workforce of 88,000. It has already slashed more than 30,000 since the start of the financial crisis.

Lloyds announces job losses while profits rise 41%

The group, which is 25% owned by the taxpayer, said it plans to "digitise" the bank, adding that it wants to simplify the business and be more efficient.

Meanwhile, third-quarter results showed underlying profits for the business, which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, up 41% to £2.2 billion.

Lloyds announces job losses while profits rise 41%.

Bottom line pre-tax profits were £693 million after taking into account one-off charges including a £900 million increase in provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.

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'HS3 key to creating Northern jobs'

Plans for another high speed rail link dubbed 'HS3' is the key to creating Northern jobs and growth says a Manchester MP.

Lib Dem's member for South Manchester John Leech has called on the government to implement the Higgins report on HS3 on the same timetable as HS2 plans.

The report, published today, calls for a HS3 scheme to connect the north’s great cities, cutting journey times, boosting businesses and create more jobs and security for people in the north. The journey between Manchester and Leeds could be cut from 55 minutes now to between 26 and 34 minutes.

Read more here.

"This report is good news for Manchester jobs and the economy, and I urge the Government to accept it on the same timetable as HS2. I have long argued that Manchester and the north need to maximise the number of jobs and growth it creates from HS2 and this report on HS3 spells out how that is done."

“This is another boost for Manchester, coming on top of the Greater Manchester City Deal which was announced in 2012 and £200m extra funding for local transport schemes.”

– John Leech MP

Watchdog reveals £20 billion hole in European banks

Twenty five of Europe's 130 biggest banks have failed a landmark health check exposing shortfalls in their reserves, the European Central Bank said.

25 banks failed European stress tests. Credit: Reuters

The ECB said the failed banks combined ended last year with a 25 billion euros (£20 billion) hole in their books.

A dozen of those banks have already addressed the gap by raising 15 billion euros (£11.8 billion) over the course of this year.

Italy's financial sector faces the biggest challenge with nine of its banks failing the test, according to the European watchdog.

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Lloyds Bank narrowly passes stress test

The state-backed Lloyds Banking Group narrowly passed a stress test set by European regulators to assess whether banks have enough capital to weather another economic crash.

Lloyds Bank narrowly passed a European stress test. Credit: Reuters

The close outcome could have implications for Lloyds, which is in talks with Britain's financial regulator about restarting dividend payments and must prove it has the capital strength to cope with future market shocks to gain permission to do so.

Asda faces action from thousands over equal pay

Asda is accused of paying its female staff up to £4 less than their male counterparts. Credit: PA

Supermarket giant Asda is facing legal action from up to 19,000 women over equal pay.

Law firm Leigh Day said the claims were launched after investigations revealed some store employees were being paid less than colleagues doing the same job in its distribution centres.

The pay difference between shop workers, who are mainly female, and warehouse workers, who are mainly men, could be as much as £4 an hour.

If the claimants are successful, they could be entitled to six years' worth of back pay in compensation.

Michael Newman, a discrimination and employment law expert at Leigh Day, warned the implications of these legal claims were "enormous for Asda and many other supermarkets in the UK".

The challenge is thought to be the largest challenge of its kind in the private sector and could act as a "test case" for other retailers.

An Asda spokesman said they would "robustly defend" the claims.

Dolce & Gabbana founders cleared of tax evasion

Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been cleared of hiding hundreds of millions of euros from Italian tax authorities by the country's top court.

The Italian pair appealed the suspended 18-month jail sentence that had been upheld earlier this year for tax evasion charges.

Italian designers Domenico Dolce, right, and Stefano Gabbana, left, had faced jail for an alleged plan to avoid paying a higher rate of tax. Credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters

The star designers were accused of using a Luxembourg holding company, Gado, to avoid paying taxes on royalties of about 1 billion euros.

Today's verdict, reported by Reuters, overturns the guilty verdict first delivered in 2013 and upheld by an appeals court in Milan in April.

Tesco CEO: Shoppers can expect positive surprises

The new chief executive of Tesco has said shoppers can expect "positive surprises" as he gets the supermarket back "to what made this business great".

Dave Lewis told ITV News Economic Editor Richard Edgar that the accounting scandal that has enguled Tesco was "not at all what I envisaged when I took the job".

But he stressed that the company's 320,000 staff had continued to do a "stunning job" throughout the recent difficulties.

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