Lloyds Banking Group , Britain's largest retail bank, posted a 6.3 billion pounds ($9.66 billion) loss in 2009, as the part-nationalised British bank lost 24 billion pounds on loans that soured, mostly from old HBOS assets.

The bank said bad debt losses will improve this year, however, it said impairments fell 21 percent fall in the second half of last year from the first half, and it expects to see a similar pace of half yearly improvement throughout 2010.

Its loss compared to a 6.7 billion pounds loss in 2008.

Lloyds, which completed a deal to buy troubled rival HBOS last January and is 41 percent owned by the government, said it expects margins to improve this year, the economy to show a weak upturn and a significant improvement in its businesses.

The comments echoed cautiously positive outlook from peer Royal Bank of Scotland on Thursday, which signaled it saw a recovery and improved margins ahead for its retail banking operations.

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Steve Slater; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

($1=.6521 pounds)