Lloyds reduces foreign operations

1 July 2011

Lloyds Banking Group is reducing its foreign operations after announcing it is to pull out of half of the 30 countries it currently operates in.

The lender claimed the move is part of an effort to sharpen its focus on the UK market, with chief executive officer Antonio Horta-Osorio noting: "We are retrenching."

However, individuals familiar with the matter said it is not yet known which nations the institution will leave, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The decision is the latest in a number of similar steps made by fellow UK banks, with Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland Group all lessening their activity overseas.

Nathan Archer, a banking analyst with Normura International, said: "The move to concentrating geographies is part and parcel with slashing costs."

The news comes shortly after recent statistics from Banker magazine showed that British banks have fallen behind lenders in Japan, China and France in terms of overall profitability.

By Asim Shah

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