Lloyds profit drops by nearly three-quarters after Covid-19 hit

Credit: PA

Lloyds Banking Group saw profits tumble by 72% in 2020, as it battled with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank revealed the extent of the financial devastation caused by Covid-19, as statutory pre-tax profit fell to £1.2 billion, from £4.4 billion the previous year.

It is better than the £905 million analysts had expected, according to a company-compiled consensus.

It came as the bank booked impairment charges – money it sets aside for loans that could sour – of £4.2 billion, compared with £1.3 a year earlier.

Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

It was lower than the £4.7 billion that analysts were expecting, after the bank notched up impairments of just £128 million in the fourth quarter, compared with the £586 million that had been expected.

Net income dropped 16% to £14.4 billion across the financial year.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “Looking forward, significant uncertainties remain, specifically relating to the coronavirus pandemic and the speed and efficacy of the vaccination programme in the UK and around the world.”