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Lloyds Bank to pay quarterly dividends

FILE PHOTO: Customers use ATMs at a branch of Lloyds Bank in London, Britain, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest domestic lender Lloyds Banking Group said on Thursday it would pay dividends quarterly from the first quarter of 2020, in a move aimed at distributing income to its 2.4 million shareholders more regularly and efficiently.

The new approach will see the lender adopt three equal interim ordinary dividend payments for first three quarters of year followed by, subject to performance, a larger final dividend in the fourth quarter, the bank said in a statement. It currently pays out dividends twice a year.

Lloyds is one of Britain's biggest dividend payers and distributed around 4 billion pounds to investors in 2018.

It paid a total ordinary dividend of 3.21 pence per share in 2018, up 5% on the payout for 2017 and intends to return 1.75 billion pounds to shareholders through a share buy-back this year.

The changes to its dividend policy will not impact the current buyback programme or any future decisions to buyback shares, Lloyds said.

Just 11 firms in the FTSE 100 paid quarterly dividends in 2018, including HSBC, Unilever, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Land Securities and British Land.

(Reporting By Sinead Cruise; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)