Lloyds Banking Group is £700 million better off after getting back the entire £1.2 billion it lent (plus interest) to the Barclays family to finance their ownership of the Telegraph Media Group. Not thinking it would get all the money back, Lloyds is thought to have valued the loan at just £500 million in its books. Some of those HBOS bad loans will have been used by Lloyds in the past to reduce the size of the bonus pot for staff. It’s now payback time!

Trying to get the money back from the Barclays family, it was originally lent by Peter Cummings of HBOS, has been a decade long farrago of farce and nonsense. Lloyds eventually got its hands on the Telegraph Media Group by putting it into receivership and was in the process of selling it before the Barclay boys pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat in the form of £1.2 billion, with the help from an Abu Dhabi backed consortium called Red Bird IMI. In a tongue-in-cheek comment, a Lloyds spokesperson said: “We are always keen to work constructively with customers who get into difficulty with their repayments to reach an amicable solution”.

So, what should Lloyds do with that £700 million windfall. Well here’s a suggestion: why not give every member of staff a Christmas/New Year Bonus of £2000. Lloyds can then give the rest to shareholders in the form of a special dividend. Lloyds never expected to get the money back. Even after the bonus pay out, it will still be able to give £500+ million to shareholders.

Analysts expect Lloyds to report full-year pre-tax profits of £7.2 billion for 2023. So, it’s not short of money!

Members with any questions can contact the Union’s Bedford Office on 01234 262868 (Choose Option 1).

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