Lloyds back in profit for the first time since financial crisis

Chief Antonio Horta-Osorio in line for a deferred shares bonus worth £1.7m
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Lloyds Banking Group has returned to a profit for the first time since it was rescued by taxpayers at the height of the financial crisis.

The state-backed bank reported a statutory pretax profit of £415 million for 2013, reversing a £606 million loss in 2012. Underlying profits more than doubled to £6.2 billion.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio is in line for a deferred shares bonus worth £1.7 million for 2013. The bank is set to pay out £395 million in bonuses for top staff, signalling an eight per cent increase from 365 million in 2012.

The figures were tempered by huge new mis-selling provisions, taking the total cost of the payment-protection insurance scandal for Lloyds to almost £10 billion after taking a further £1.8 billion charge in the fourth quarter.

Horta-Osorio said the bank "expects to apply to the regulator in the second half of the year to restart dividend payments at a modest level" next year. Lloyds has not paid a dividend to shareholders since 2008.

The government currently owns a 33 per cent stake in the bank after selling a 6 per cent stake at a price of 75p a share raising £3.2 billion in September last year.

A new sale is expected to take place later this year.