In respect of the first half of 2021 and following the PRA update of 13 July 2021, the Lloyds Bank PLC Board has announced an interim ordinary dividend of 0.67 pence per share, reintroducing a progressive and sustainable ordinary dividend policy.
Going forward, the Group will revert to paying any ordinary dividends half yearly, rather than quarterly, with the quantum announced with the half year and full year results. The Board believes this approach is appropriate in the current environment given its simplicity, environmental benefits and the additional flexibility it provides to the business. The Board will continue to give due consideration at each year end to the return of any surplus capital through the use of special dividends or buybacks.
Other financial highlights include:
• Good progress on Strategic Review 2021 priorities, including record customer satisfaction scores, improved capabilities in Markets products and a leading payments card spend market share
• Announced today the acquisition of Embark, a fast growing investment and retirement platform business. Embark enhances our capabilities to address the attractive mass market and self-directed Wealth segment, completing the Group's Wealth proposition. Embark will also enable the Group to re-platform its pensions and retirement proposition, significantly strengthening its offering in Retirement, an important growth market
• Statutory profit before tax of £3.9 billion, increased significantly on first half of 2020, benefiting from solid business momentum and a net impairment credit in the period
• Net income of £7.6 billion, up 2 per cent, with increased average interest-earning assets at £441 billion, a strong banking net interest margin of 2.50 per cent and other income of £2.4 billion, alongside a reduction in operating lease depreciation
• Sustained cost discipline with operating costs of £3.7 billion, including the impact of rebuilding variable pay in the context of stronger than expected financial performance
• Remediation charge of £425 million, materially driven by the £91 million regulatory fine relating to the communication of historical insurance renewals, £150 million of redress and operational costs for HBOS Reading, and charges in relation to other ongoing legacy programmes
• Net impairment credit of £656 million, including £333 million in the second quarter, as a result of an £837 million release driven by improvements to the macroeconomic outlook for the UK, combined with robust credit performance. Management judgements in respect of coronavirus retained, now c.£1.2 billion