By Marcus Leach

Lloyds Banking Group have reported a £3.9 billion loss for the opening three quarters of 2011.

The heavy loss is attributed mainly due to settling claims for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI).

In comparison, for the same period in 2010 the bank reported a £2 billion profit. However, the loss was magnified due to the £3.2 billion spent on settling PPI claims over the last nine months.

Its total income for the period also fell 15% to £15.3bn, indicating a decline in business levels.

The financial results are a further blow after it was announced that chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio is to take medical leave.

"There's nothing that's being stopped or paused while we go through these few weeks before we expect Antonio to return," said Tim Tookey, who will assume Mr Horta-Osorio's role on an interim basis.

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