Picture: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE
Picture: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE

London — Lloyds Banking Group will set aside up to an extra £1.8bn to settle mis-selling claims in Britain’s costliest consumer banking scandal, and said it was suspending its 2019 share buyback programme.

Banks are putting aside more money to pay claims against mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) following a rush of consumer inquiries about compensation ahead of the deadline on August 29.

Payment protection insurance policies were sold alongside a personal loan or mortgage to cover repayments if borrowers fell ill or lost jobs, but many were unsuitable.

The payment protection insurance saga has already cost lenders more than £36bn in payouts, with analysts estimating the final bill could top £50bn.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) said last week it faced additional costs of up to £900m, while Clydesdale Bank made a fresh £300m-£450m provision.

As Britain’s biggest domestic lender, Lloyds has been the most exposed to payment protection insurance and has already paid out more than £20bn.

Lloyds said on Monday it had received 600,0000-800,000 requests for information about payment protection insurance in August, well above its expectations of about 190,000.

As a result, it expects to set aside a further £1.2bn-£1.8bn pounds in its third-quarter results to cover payouts.

The bank’s shares fell more than 2% in early trading.

Lloyds also said it had received a claim submitted by the insolvency service’s official receiver on behalf of bankrupt consumers, pushing costs higher.

It added the charge would dent its profitability and scrapped guidance for a return on tangible equity of about 12% in 2018. It also warned the increase in its capital ratio in 2019 would be below its 170-200 basis points a year guidance.

The lender made a payment protection insurance provision in its second quarter of £650m.

Lloyds had been expected to make a further provision following its rivals’ moves, with analysts at KBW saying they had downgraded the bank last week partly due to the expected charge. KBW said the top end of the charge at £1.8bn was marginally better than its worse-case scenario.

Lloyds was given some breathing space on capital in May, when regulators reduced its required core capital ratio to 12.5% from 13%, equating to about £1bn.

Lloyds is continuing to target paying a dividend and said it would make a decision on surplus capital at the end of the year.

Reuters