UKFI has further reduced its holding in Lloyds
Lloyds has resumed paying dividends IBTimes UK

Lloyds Banking Group has reported sturdy full-year earnings of £1.8bn and announced it will resume paying dividends to shareholders for the first time since the financial crash.

The bank is proposing a dividend of 75p per share for 2014, amounting to £535m, which will be distributed among its three million shareholders. The largest chunk - £130m - will go to the government.

Lloyds is now 24% owned by the government, after selling some £500m of shares earlier this week.

Lloyds' statutory profits for the previous year were £450m.

The bank also said it had put aside a further £700m to cover payment protection insurance claims, bringing the total set aside for the year to £2.2bn.

Chief executive António Horta-Osório said: "Over the last four years we have transformed Lloyds Banking Group into a low cost, low risk, UK focused retail and commercial bank. This has been made possible by the hard work of everyone at the group.

"Today's results also demonstrate that our profitability and capital position have improved significantly, and this has enabled the Board, for the first time in over six years, to recommend we pay a dividend to our shareholders."

The consensus in the city was that resuming paying dividends means Lloyds has been returned to health.