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LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group reported an annual pre-tax profit of 5.3 billion pounds ($7.41 billion)on Wednesday - its highest pre-tax profit since 2006 - but missed average analyst expectations of 5.73 billion pounds.
Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, which also unveiled plans to invest more than 3 billion pounds in technology and staff to improve customer service and cut costs, also announced a share buy-back of up to 1 billion pounds to return some excess capital to shareholders.
The bank’s CET1 ratio - a key measure of financial strength - was at 15.5 percent before capital distribution, the lender said. ($1 = 0.7151 pounds) (Reporting by Emma Rumney, editing by Sinead Cruise)