Five questions answered on Lloyds’ announcement on increasing PPI provisions

Will it affect the groups’ profits?

Lloyds Banking Group today announced it is to increase its provision for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI). We answer five questions on the bank's announcement.

By how much is the bank increasing its PPI provisions?

The group said it will increase the fund by another £1.8bn, bringing the total to nearly £10bn. It said this extra provision reflects an increase in successful claims.

Has this affected the group's profits?

The banking group also announced that its underlying profits for 2013 would be £6.2bn, which is nearly double what analysts have been expecting. As a result, the bank has said it could restart dividend payments this year. Lloyds has not paid any dividends to shareholders since 2008.

What is the total cost of the PPI scandal expected to be for all banks?

The bill for all banks is expected to be around £20bn.

What else has Lloyds said?

Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds, said: "Our profitability, despite legacy issues, is testament to the strength of our business model and the commitment of our people, and has enabled the UK government to start to return the bank to full private ownership.”

The bank also announced it will be setting aside another £130m to cover the cost of compensation payments to SMEs mis-sold interest rate hedging products.

Does the government still have shares in the Lloyds bank?

Yes, the UK government still owns 32.7 per cent of the bank's shares. However, it hopes to sell these, most likely in April, because it wants the bank to return to private ownership by the next general election.

The Lloyds building in London. Photograph: Getty Images.

Heidi Vella is a features writer for

Photo: Getty Images
Show Hide image

The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean?

Any union rejoining Labour will be welcomed by most in the party - but the impact on the party's internal politics will be smaller than you think.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has voted to reaffiliate to the Labour party, in what is seen as a boost to Jeremy Corbyn. What does it mean for Labour’s internal politics?

Firstly, technically, the FBU has never affliated before as they are notionally part of the civil service - however, following the firefighters' strike in 2004, they decisively broke with Labour.

The main impact will be felt on the floor of Labour party conference. Although the FBU’s membership – at around 38,000 – is too small to have a material effect on the outcome of votes themselves, it will change the tenor of the motions put before party conference.

The FBU’s leadership is not only to the left of most unions in the Trades Union Congress (TUC), it is more inclined to bring motions relating to foreign affairs than other unions with similar politics (it is more internationalist in focus than, say, the PCS, another union that may affiliate due to Corbyn’s leadership). Motions on Israel/Palestine, the nuclear deterrent, and other issues, will find more support from FBU delegates than it has from other affiliated trade unions.

In terms of the balance of power between the affiliated unions themselves, the FBU’s re-entry into Labour politics is unlikely to be much of a gamechanger. Trade union positions, elected by trade union delegates at conference, are unlikely to be moved leftwards by the reaffiliation of the FBU. Unite, the GMB, Unison and Usdaw are all large enough to all-but-guarantee themselves a seat around the NEC. Community, a small centrist union, has already lost its place on the NEC in favour of the bakers’ union, which is more aligned to Tom Watson than Jeremy Corbyn.

Matt Wrack, the FBU’s General Secretary, will be a genuine ally to Corbyn and John McDonnell. Len McCluskey and Dave Prentis were both bounced into endorsing Corbyn by their executives and did so less than wholeheartedly. Tim Roache, the newly-elected General Secretary of the GMB, has publicly supported Corbyn but is seen as a more moderate voice at the TUC. Only Dave Ward of the Communication Workers’ Union, who lent staff and resources to both Corbyn’s campaign team and to the parliamentary staff of Corbyn and McDonnell, is truly on side.

The impact of reaffiliation may be felt more keenly in local parties. The FBU’s membership looks small in real terms compared Unite and Unison have memberships of over a million, while the GMB and Usdaw are around the half-a-million mark, but is much more impressive when you consider that there are just 48,000 firefighters in Britain. This may make them more likely to participate in internal elections than other affiliated trade unionists, just 60,000 of whom voted in the Labour leadership election in 2015. However, it is worth noting that it is statistically unlikely most firefighters are Corbynites - those that are will mostly have already joined themselves. The affiliation, while a morale boost for many in the Labour party, is unlikely to prove as significant to the direction of the party as the outcome of Unison’s general secretary election or the struggle for power at the top of Unite in 2018. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.