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Lloyds to plug deposit gap by focusing on advice

Lloyds to plug deposit gap by focusing on advice

Lloyds is looking to pick up the slack from falling deposits by focusing on advice, it told investors.

After reporting a first half profit of £2.9 billion - paving the way for the Treasury's stake sale in 2014 - the bank said its wealth division was continuing to evolve with client relationship management technology and a digital push on the way.

It also said that in the current environment where deposits were scarce, it intended to focus on advice.

'We are focused on ways to leverage the strength of our core banking franchise which holds a number of significant customers who meet the criteria for our wealth proposition. As market deposit rate levels continue to fall we will focus on supporting our customers with advice,' the bank said.

While at a group level Lloyds' H1 profit will allow it to begin negotiations over re-instating its dividend, in its wealth and asset finance division losses came down significantly.

These fell by 86% to £101 million, though this decline was driven primarily by lower impairments.

The wealth and asset finance arm's underlying profit in its core business came in at £296 million, up 47%.  More broadly, however, the division made an underlying loss of £101 million, down from the same stretch last year when the bank said the division was £761 million in red.

Going forward, Lloyds said its digital push within the wealth space would involve the continued improvement of client services, combined with better accessibility through faster access to advice and support.

Lloyds said that some of these changes are already underway, with its new private banking client centre now open and a new point of sale system being piloted.

Following on from this, Lloyds said it would introduce new customer relationship management technology in the second half of the year, and is in the process of developing more bespoke ways to interact with clients, particularly through digital channels.

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