Jill Treanor

Soaring bad debts drove Lloyds Banking Group to a £4bn loss in the first half of the year as the rescue takeover of HBOS continued to dent the bank. Laying bare the scale of the risks taken by HBOS before Prime Minister Gordon Brown intervened to allow the Lloyds TSB rescue takeover last September, the “bank for Britain” stunned the City — London’s financial district — by revealing bad debts of £13.4bn. Despite the bigger than expected impairment charge, Lloyds shares were the biggest risers in the FTSE 100 after it told investors that the worst of the crisis inside HBOS was over.