Lloyds Profit Benefits From Fall in Conduct Costs

Lloyds Banking Group PLC said Thursday its net profit increased in the first quarter of the year as conduct costs fell and the U.K. economy continued to hold up after the Brexit vote.

The U.K. retail bank said net profit rose to GBP766 million ($984.3 million) in the first three months of the year from GBP405 million a year earlier, as bad loans continued to fall. Revenue rose 1% to GBP4.38 billion while operating costs fell 1%, and the bank said it was on target to hit its long-term goals.

Lloyds's bottom line has continued to be hit by conduct issues. The bank said earlier this month that it was putting aside GBP350 million in extra provisions to cover future payouts to customers sold insurance products they didn't need. The provision came after a U.K. regulator extended a deadline for claims until August 2019. The bank also put aside GBP100 million to compensate customers who were victims of a fraud committed at the bank more than a decade ago. Two former employees were jailed earlier this year over the fraud.

The U.K. government, which owns just under 2% in the bank, is expected to sell its remaining shares in the coming months, marking a fresh start for the lender, which was bailed out during the financial crisis.

The bank is entering the last stretch of a three-year turnaround plan. Investors expect Chief Executive António Horta-Osório to present a new plan for the bank later this year.

Write to Max Colchester at max.colchester@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 27, 2017 02:51 ET (06:51 GMT)