Lloyds bumper profits deliver £1bn bonanza for shareholders

Lloyds Banking Group posted sharply higher profits for 2017 and announced plans to return £1bn to shareholders after a “landmark year” that saw the high street lender return to private ownership after its taxpayer bailout in 2008.

The bank reported a 24% increase in pre-tax profit to £5.3bn last year, and said its strong capital position would allow the £1bn share buyback, worth up to 1.4p per share.

Chief executive António Horta Osório said: “2017 has been a landmark year in which the Group has made significant strategic progress and returned to full private ownership. This is due to the hard work of all our people and I thank them for it.

“We have delivered another year of strong financial performance with improved profit and returns on both a statutory and underlying basis and have now built the largest and top rated digital bank in the UK. We are therefore well prepared to succeed in a digital world.”

Lloyds took a £1.65bn charge for payment protection insurance (PPI) last year, up from £1bn in 2016. The lender had to pay £600m in the fourth quarter, after weekly complaints rose from 9,000 to 11,000.

The bank was returned to full private ownership in May last year, after the government sold off its remaining shares.

Horta Osório received a total pay package worth £6.42m for 2017, up

As well as announcing results for 2017,