The red ink continues to flow out of British banks. The part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group has unveiled losses for last year of 10 billion pounds (11.2 billion euros).
Investors were unhappy that it has still not finalised a plan to put hundreds of billions of pounds worth of risky loans into a UK government-backed insurance scheme. Lloyds is reportedly haggling over the cost of joining that scheme. Most of the losses were at Halifax Bank of Scotland which Lloyds bought in January to save it from collapse. Some investors have criticised the deal which left conservatively run Lloyds with HBOS’ hefty bad debts and asset write-downs. But Chief Executive Eric Daniels defended the acquisition and called it “a very good deal.” Lloyds warned the group will sink into the red again this year as rising unemployment and falling house prices in Britain cause more people to default on their loans.