LONDON (AP) — Lloyds Banking Group says its underlying profits rose slightly in the fourth quarter as it began to move beyond past scandals and a government rescue during the financial crisis.
The bank says underlying profit, which excludes one-time items like restructuring costs, increased to 1.79 billion pounds ($2.23 billion) from 1.76 billion pounds a year earlier. Charges for past misconduct fell to 475 million pounds from 2.4 billion pounds.
Lloyds, in which the government took a 43 percent stake with its bailout, says it's on track to return to full private ownership this summer. The government's stake is now less than 5 percent.
But challenges remain. Lloyds says its performance is "inextricably linked" to the U.K. economy and Britain's decision to leave the European Union means the "economic outlook is uncertain."