UK giant Lloyds Bank gets HK license
Updated: 2010-04-01 07:34
Lloyds TSB Bank, one of the largest lenders in the United Kingdom, has received a banking licence in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which supervises banks, announced yesterday that it has upgraded Lloyds TSB Bank's restricted banking license to a (full) banking license under the Banking Ordinance, effective March 31.
After the upgrade of Lloyds TSB, the number of licensed banks in Hong Kong has increased to 147, while the number of restricted license banks has decreased to 24.
Lloyds TSB is incorporated in the UK and has operated a branch in Hong Kong under a restricted banking license since 1997.
According to the July 2009 issue of The Banker, Lloyds is the fifth largest bank in the United Kingdom and the 38th largest bank in the world in terms of total assets.
After a series of high profile mergers and acquisitions, the new Lloyds Banking Group, to which the current Lloyds TSB bank belongs, was created by the British government-engineered takeover last year of ailing lender HBOS by High Street rival Lloyds TSB Group. In owning Lloyds TSB bank, it has the largest retail bank in the UK, with about 16 million personal customers and small business accounts in the UK.
In the same year, the bank received billions of pounds in direct aid from the British government during the global financial crisis.
Lloyds Banking Group reported a 6.3 billion pound ($9.63 billion) loss last year after being hit by a steep jump in bad loans, but it said in a statement that it "believes that it will be profitable on a combined basis in 2010." However, analysts said it is currently forecast to incur a 300 million pound loss this year.
Lloyds TSB has been present in Asia since the 1970s with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. In 2006, it established a representative office in China.
Agencies - China Daily
(HK Edition 04/01/2010 page2)