Lloyds sells its Australian loans to Bain Capital

LLOYDS Banking Group yesterday sold loans worth A$371 million (£216.4m) from its Bank of Scotland International Australia unit as the lender continues to sell off assets to shore up its balance sheet.

Bain Capital’s Sankaty Advisors division – which opened an office in Melbourne earlier this year, its first in the Asia Pacific region – paid an undisclosed sum for the assets.

The sale of the loan portfolio comes as Lloyds leaves Australia and three other countries under plans to strengthen its balance sheet. The group will reduce the number of countries in which it operates form 14 down to ten.

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Last week the lender sold some £500m worth of assets amid more stringent regulatory capital rules for the banking sector.

Lloyds, whose subsidiaries include Edinburgh-based Scottish Widows, sold its German life insurance arm Heidelberger Leben for £250m and a portfolio of loans for £254m.

The flurry of divestments come after the Bank of England told Lloyds in June that it had to find an extra £8.6 billion to shore up its balance sheet.

The cash is needed to help the lender make provisions for any future losses, regulatory fines and compensation for mis-selling financial products.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has made retrenchment from much of the bank’s international business a key strategy.

Selling off some of its overseas operations will leave Lloyds to focus it on the UK, where it has 34 per cent of the current account market and 30 per cent of mortgages.