Lloyds Banking Group is planning to double the scale of its share buyback programme to £2bn ($2.59bn) next year.

However, the plans are currently at a preliminary stage, and a final move would be decided only after a board meeting in February 2019, reported the Financial Times citing sources familiar with the matter.

However, the sources also warned that the plan could be hampered by a hard Brexit.

Lloyds share buyback

Through the buyback and a higher dividend, the bank aims to return £4.5bn to its shareholders. Earlier this year, the bank completed a £1bn buyback.

According to the publication, the Lloyds share buyback move indicates the bank’s increasing confidence despite Brexit-related uncertainties.

The decision also reflects the improving outlook of the lender that was bailed out with taxpayers’ money during the financial meltdown a decade earlier, the publication noted.

In this context, the publication cited UBS analysts who have termed Lloyds as “strongly capital generative bank, operating with a cost advantage in a competitive market and with decent medium-term growth opportunities in lending, savings, investments and general insurance.”

Lloyds reported a statutory profit of £2.3bn for the first six months to 30 June 2018, a 38% surge from the previous year.

It recently also unveiled plans to trim its branch network and boost digital presence.