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Lloyds reports profits up 15 percent in first half but conduct provisions erode bottom line

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LONDON — Lloyds Banking Group says first-half net income rose 18 percent to 677 million pounds ($1.05 billion) as the government-backed bank accelerated its recovery from the financial crisis.

The bank, bailed out by taxpayers in 2008, disclosed Friday that the government's stake had been reduced to just 15 percent from as much as 43 percent.

But past scandals continued to drag down the bank's recovery. Lloyds in the first half set aside an additional 1.835 billion pounds for so-called conduct issues, including payment protection insurance that was sold improperly. Lloyds' total provisions for PPI have now reached 13.4 billion pounds.

CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio said in a statement: "We are disappointed to announce further provisions today, but we do so from a position of financial and capital strength."

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