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Britain's Lloyds hit by bad deeds and bad debts

Paying a price for past misconduct, Britain's biggest domestic lender Lloyds Banking Group reported a 26% drop in annual profit on Thursday (February 20).

It was hit by increasing bad debts and billions of pounds of customer compensation.

Provisions to cover payouts to customers mis-sold a type of insurance reached over $3 billion in 2019.

The rise in bad loans also hinted at potential trouble ahead for Britain.

Lloyds is viewed as a bellwether for the country's economy.

That's because it is the largest provider of home loans and one of its biggest backers of businesses.

The bank remains upbeat though, saying the economy remains "resilient."

Its CEO said that despite uncertainty over Britain's post-Brexit trading relationships, the country now has "a clear sense of direction".

Lloyds shares rose 3% in early trade, outperforming the FTSE 350 banking index.