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LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group said its first half performance had strengthened the chances of the bank being allowed to pay its first dividend since being rescued by the government during the 2008 financial crisis.
Lloyds said it will apply to Britain's financial regulator in the second half of the year to restart dividends at a "modest" level.
"The things that matter are being able to demonstrate a statutory profit and a strong capital position. These half-year results show both of those. I do think they strengthen our hand," Finance Director George Culmer told reporters after the bank reported a jump in profits. (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)