1056 GMT - Lloyds Banking Group is among the most mentioned companies across news items over the past four hours, according to Factiva data. Despite a soft fourth-quarter, the British lender reported GBP7.5 billion pounds in pretax profit for 2023 boosted by higher interest rates and intends to return GBP2 billion pounds to shareholders via a buyback program. The results included what AJ Bell called "a nasty detail which may be provoking some nervousness among investors": a GBP450 million provision to deal with potential redress costs. This relates to the financial regulator's review of historical motor-finance industry arrangements, to which it is exposed via its Black Horse brand--the largest provider in the U.K. sector. The lender admitted that there is considerable uncertainty on the extent and timing of potential costs, somewhat overshadowing the positive aspects of the earnings and roughly in-line outlook. Shares, which fell around 2% in morning exchanges, pared losses and reversed course to trade up 1.4% at 43.9 pence at 1054 GMT while the FTSE 100 index edged up 0.09%. Dow Jones & Co. owns Factiva. (elena.vardon@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-22-24 0611ET