LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - Britain’s biggest mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group has posted robust first quarter profits against a backdrop of cooling house prices and dwindling confidence among its small business borrowers.
Lloyds reported an after tax profit of 1.2 billion pounds ($1.57 billion) for the period, slightly below expectations of 1.39 billion pounds according to a company-provided average of analyst forecasts, but up from 1.15 billion pounds the previous year.
The bank reported underlying profit of 2.2 billion pounds, up 8 percent on the previous year and beating expectations of 2.05 billion pounds.
The results follow disappointing first quarter results from Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, who blamed intensifying competition in mortgages and slowing business investment due to Brexit uncertainty for falling margins. ($1 = 0.7662 pounds) (Reporting by Iain Withers and Lawrence White, editing by Sinead Cruise)