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WILL DITCHING CHELTENHAM & GLOUCESTER HELP LLOYDS RECOVER?

<strong>ALEX POTTER </strong> COLLINS STEWART<br />&ldquo;Lloyds Banking Group was close to dominating the British high street and I&rsquo;m sure that&rsquo;s a concern for European anti-trust authorities, so closing these branches may be a practical move to help with that. It will also help a little with streamlining. There&rsquo;s a recession on and they need to cut their cloth from that stone.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>DAVE EVANS </strong> BET ON MARKETS<br />&ldquo;It really all depends on what the next six to 12 months do to the old HBOS division. If things start to recover, as they seem to be doing, then Lloyds&rsquo; prospects could improve quite quickly. That&rsquo;s all provided that there are no more skeletons in the closet at HBOS of course. It has also started paying back the government which will work in its favour.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>JUSTIN URQUHART-STEWART </strong>SEVEN IM<br />&ldquo;The black horse has been hurt. It&rsquo;s not dead but it&rsquo;s definitely hobbling along, under-capitalised, nowhere near as strong as it was. The worst is over but the bank is going to have learn to live with a very cruel profession indeed. Lloyds will be desperate to get out from the clutches of the government and start making profits again.&rdquo;<br />