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Lloyds reports big drop in profits amid charges

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LONDON (AP) — The part-nationalized Lloyds Banking Group says its six-month net profit more than halved to 699 million pounds ($1.45 billion) after it put aside another 600 million pounds to cover the cost of improperly sold payment protection insurance.

The group said Thursday the profit fell from 1.58 billion pounds a year earlier.

It said that with the latest charges, the total cost for wrongly selling protection insurance exceeds 10 billion pounds. It booked another 217 million pounds for a fine for market-rigging.

The bank began a deep restructuring after it received a 20 billion-pound government bailout in 2008.

Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said the group's three-year strategic plan is nearly completed and the bank is now able to "take advantage of the new growth phase of the U.K. economy."

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