A booming mortgage market and an economic recovery that made it less likely that Covid-hit borrowers would default on loans helped Lloyds Banking Group double its profits in the three months to September.
The group, which owns Halifax and is the UK’s largest mortgage lender, benefited from an increase in demand for larger homes linked to the pandemic “race for space”, and last-ditch efforts by consumers to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, which finished last month after reducing at the end of June.
There was a £2.7bn net increase in its home loans in the quarter, bringing mortgage lending to £15.3bn over the nine months to September – the strongest rise in that measure at the bank in more than a decade.
It contributed to a 96% rise in pre-tax profits to £2bn in the third quarter compared with £1bn a year earlier. That beat average analyst estimates of £1.3bn.
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Royal Dutch Shell has set out a target to halve its emissions by the end of the decade as it revealed worse-than-expected profits for the third quarter despite a global surge in oil and gas markets.
The Anglo-Dutch group, which announced a profit of $4.13bn (£3bn) for the last quarter, is under pressure to continue paying out hefty shareholder dividends from its fossil fuel business while cutting its total greenhouse gas output in line with tougher climate standards among many of its investors.
However, its new climate target falls short of including the bulk of the emissions from the oil and gas it produces and is unlikely to satisfy green campaigners who have called on Shell to urgently reduce its total global heating impact.
The worse-than-expected profit announcement emerged after a major US investor called on the company to break itself up to put an end to its “incoherent” strategy and conflicting stance on climate action.
You can read energy correspondent Jillian Ambrose’s story here: