Lloyds Banking Group has posted a strong financial performance for the nine months to the end of September with increased underlying and statutory profit, a significant improvement in returns and strong capital generation. Underlying profit rose to £6.6bn - 8% higher than the previous year - with an underlying return on tangible equity of 16.2%. Total income for the nine months was 6% higher at £13,893m with improved net interest income and other income; net interest margin increased to 2.85%. Statutory pre-tax profits rose by 38% to £4.5bn with a return on tangible equity of 10.5%. Statutory pre-tax profits for the third quarter rose to £1.9bn - up 141% from £811m last time. Lloyds also said that charges to cover claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance and other conduct reflected the provisions taken in the first half of the year with no additional charges taken in the third quarter. Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: 'These results highlight the strength of our customer focused, simple and low risk business model and the benefits of our competitive advantage in the UK. 'Asset quality remains strong, reflecting our prudent approach to risk, while the UK economy remains resilient. 'We continue to focus on supporting people, businesses and communities, as set out in our Helping Britain Prosper Plan while making good progress against our strategic priorities of creating the best customer experience; becoming simpler and more efficient; and delivering sustainable growth. 'We are ahead of schedule with the integration of MBNA and now expect completion in the first quarter of 2019. 'We have also recently announced the acquisition of Zurich's UK workplace pensions and savings business which is in line with the Group's targeted growth strategy and accelerates the development of our financial planning and retirement business. 'A new organisational structure has also been implemented ahead of the announcement of our strategic review in February. 'We have announced improved financial targets for 2017, reflecting the strong financial performance in the year, and we remain on track to deliver our longer term guidance.'
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