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The new management team always faced a marathon, not a 100m sprint. They inherited a real crock and have had to sort out some very difficult situations. However, core profitability seems to be around £6bn, provisions have largely been made, and cost savings ruthlessly driven through.

A return to dividend is now largely a political/FSA/BoE decision but it certainly looks on the horizon. With a great infrastructure, UK customer base and several good brands (Lloyds, Halifax, St James Place) I think the management team will begin to see the fruits of their hardwork.

I have heard that the god come man, who can turn base metals into gold, water into plonk, bow down all Fools before his name - Neil Woodford, dislikes banks. But don't let that put you off to much, if you bought Lloyds at 24p a few months back then 37p looks pretty good and when they sit at £3 with a 25p dividend you will be extremely happy. Just stay the marathon course and avoid the sprint.

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