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Protestors disrupt Lloyds TSB annual meeting

The first Lloyds TSB annual meeting since the two banks merged last year was disrupted by demonstrators yesterday protesting at the bank's stance on third world debt. Some naked protestors staged what they described as an "ethical streak" and at least two arrests were made by police after security officers removed several people from the AGM, held in Edinburgh (above). Sir Robin Ibbs, the Lloyds TSB chairman, said he had offered to meet the protestors as recently as last February, but the group had not responded to his invitation.

A Lloyds spokesman said: "We do not believed that writing off the debt is the answer. We believe the best way forward is to stay with the countries and help them establish their reputation for financial reliability which will help them raise the finance they need for the future."

In 1995, problem-country debt contributed pounds 50m to Lloyds TSB's income before tax, comprising pounds 22m from a trading surplus and pounds 28m from a net release of provisions on completion of a rescheduling agreement with Ecuador. This was much lower than in 1994.