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Treasury to sell of remaining Lloyds Bank stake

The Treasury will begin to sell off part of its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group within days, according a plan launched by Chancellor George Osborne.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports:

'No surprise' Co-op Bank failed stress test, chief says

Co-operative Bank chief executive Niall Booker said it was "no surprise" that the bank failed the stress test as it is in the early stages of its turnaround plan.

The bank is much stronger than a year ago.

As the regulator notes today, we have achieved the target of building our capital base and the actions we have taken during the first year of our business plan have made the bank more secure for the benefit of all stakeholders.

– Co-operative Bank chief executive Niall Booker

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Lloyds and RBS narrowly pass bank stress test

Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland have narrowly passed a Bank of England test to see how lenders would cope with severe economic stress.

Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland have narrowly passed a Bank of England stress test . Credit: PA Wire composite

The test, using the position of banks and building societies at the end of 2013, found both RBS and Lloyds would be susceptible to such a crisis.

However, improvements and changes to their plans this year meant only the Co-op was required to submit a new plan.

Co-operative Bank fails Bank of England stress test

The Co-operative Bank has been ordered to shore up its balance sheet by axing £5.5 billion in loans after it failed a Bank of England stress test.

The Co-operative Bank has failed a Bank of England stress test. Credit: PA Wire

The Bank found that a severe downturn with house prices plunging 35% would wipe out the Co-op's capital because of the effect on its risky commercial property and sub-prime home loans.

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Mark Carney: Britain 'more than halfway' to recovery

Britain is "more than halfway" along the road to recovery, according to the governor of the Bank of England.

Speaking to the Sunday Times (£), Mark Carney said the economy had moved decisively from recovery to a full-blown expansion.

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney Credit: PA

Mr Carney said: "Wherever the finish line was in the depths of the crisis, we are much more than halfway towards that finish line now", but warned that challenges still lie ahead.

The Bank of England expects the economy to grow by 3.5% this year, easily the fastest pace predicted for any advanced country. Unemployment is also expected to fall below 6% by the end of 2014, with 800,000 jobs created over the past year.

Interest rates stay at 0.5% despite speculation over rise

Interest rates have been at 0.5% despite speculation that some rate-setters on the Bank's nine-member monetary policy committee (MPC) might have voted for a hike. But an overall vote in favour would have surprised markets, with analysts focusing instead on the prospect of a rise towards the end of this year or early in the next.

The Bank of England. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In the second three months of the year gross domestic product (GDP) figures last month showed the UK had finally emerged from its worst downturn since the Second World War as output surpassed its pre-recession peak in early 2008.

Since then, survey data indicating strong growth in the dominant services sector has added to pressure for a rate rise - though a weaker performance for Britain's beleaguered manufacturers has led to calls for caution.

Interest rates may 'return to pre-crisis' levels in a decade

UK borrowers should expect interest rates to return to their pre-recession levels of around 5 percent within a decade, according to the outgoing Bank of England deputy governor for monetary policy.

Sir Charlie Bean who leaves his job tomorrow. Credit: PA

Sir Charlie Bean who leaves his job tomorrow, said market expectations that the first increase in interest rates would come at the turn of the year were "reasonable".

He told Sky News: "The market has rates going up to 2.5% over next three years. That seems like a broadly sensible judgment."

Sir Charlie admitted that in the run-up to the crash, economists were "not sufficiently cognisant of the risks building up in the financial system" but insisted the economy is far more resilient than when he arrived at the central bank in 2000.

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