HBOS announces £5.7bn profit

The UK’s fourth-biggest group became the latest bank to announce dramatic growth in takings last year with a total of £5.7 billion, although it also allocated more than £1.7 billion in provisions for writing off credit card debt and other defaulted payments.

HBOS revealed that it increased overall lending through mortgages, loans and other forms of credit last year to £376 billion and predicted that this amount is likely to be matched or surpassed in its performance in 2007.

“Lending growth for the group as a whole in 2007 is expected to be at or slightly above the level achieved in 2006, with similar levels of UK growth again enhanced by stronger growth from our international businesses,” stated the bank.

The group also noted that its provision for credit card debt was lower than expected but it did express caution about future trends in unsecured lending due to the rise of personal insolvencies.

A number of UK banks have recently revealed profits for 2006 and a recent study from Credit Suisse estimated that financial groups made about £1.2 billion last year from charges on unauthorised overdrafts, bounced cheques and unpaid direct debits.

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