Another hike in payment protection insurance (PPI) provisions explained Lloyds' (LLOY) headline loss. The lender set aside £1.5bn in the fourth quarter, bringing PPI provisions for 2012 to a painful £3.58bn and to £6.78bn in total. A £400m charge was also made against mis-selling interest rate products. Ignore all that and underlying pre-tax profit rose to £2.61bn from last year's £638m, although net interest margin slipped again, by 14 basis points to 1.93 per cent.
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