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UK Lloyds Bank announces $689m pre-tax profit

UK-based Lloyds Banking Group, which is backed by the nation's taxpayers, has declared it has returned to profit, announcing a pre-tax profit of $689 million.

This figures is a turnaround from the losses experienced 12 months earlier and led the company to declare itself a "normal bank".

The firm is currently 33 per cent owned by British taxpayers following a $33.2 billion bailout after the financial crisis.

Lloyds' return to profit is good news for taxpayers and the government in the UK as chancellor George Osborne is reportedly considering the sale of further shares in the bank, following the sale of six per cent of the government's stake in September 2013.

The bank's chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said Lloyds is ready to return to the private sector when instructed to do so by the Treasury.

Reports have suggested that the government is considering the sale of a further ten per cent of its holding in the bank, which could equate to around $9.2 billion.

By Claire Archer