Lloyds' gloomy message on UK recovery is based on more than pessimism | Larry Elliott


Companies are stashing their government-funded bounce-back loans for good reason

Way back, when Britain had a much bigger industrial base than today, ICI’s results were seen as a sign of how well things were going. Times change and these days it is not a manufacturing giant like ICI but a high street bank that has taken on the role of the economy’s bellwether.

If what’s happening at Lloyds Banking Group really is a reflection of what is happening to the UK as a whole – and there is a good argument for saying that it is – there is plenty to be concerned about. Lloyds has a big presence in the mortgage market, car loans, credit cards and business lending. It is almost entirely UK focused.

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