Lloyds reports 1st H profits of 1.5B pounds

Aug 01, 2013, 4:09 AM EDT

LONDON (AP) — Lloyds Banking Group says it has strengthened its balance sheet as the part-nationalized lender reported first-half net profits of 1.5 billion pounds ($2.3 billion), versus a loss of 662 million pounds in the same period last year.

The bank on Thursday said its recovery was ahead of schedule and said that it won't need to raise additional capital to meet new requirements imposed by the Prudential Regulatory Authority.

That's in contrast to Barclays, which said earlier this week it would have to sell 5.8 billion pounds in new shares to strengthen its defenses against a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Lloyds Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio says the bank is profitable — a fact that has enabled the government to begin the process of returning the group to private ownership.