Perhaps the most regular theme of the credit crunch era is the problems of the banks and the finance sector. This is quite an (anti ) achievement as we note that if we count from problems at Bear Sterns the credit crunch is now into its second decade. In only a couple of months or so it will be ten years since Northern Rock began its collapse. We are regularly told by our establishment that there has been reform and repair along the lines of this from Alex Brazier of the Bank of England that I analysed only on Tuesday,
The financial system has been made safer, simpler and fairer.
Banks, in particular, are much stronger. British banks have a capital base – their own shareholders’ money – that is more than 3 times stronger than it was ten years ago.
They can absorb losses now that would have completely wiped them out ten years ago.
Lloyds Banking Group
I pointed out on Tuesday that it was hard to know whether to laugh or cry at the “simpler and fairer” claim and this morning there is this announcement to consider.
This was after taking additional provisions for PPI and other conduct related issues which was disappointing. The Group is also currently undertaking a review of the HBOS Reading fraud and is in the process of paying compensation to the victims of the fraud for economic losses, ex-gratia payments and awards for distress and inconvenience.
Later we got some details on the monetary amounts involved.
The £1,050 million charge for PPI includes an additional £700 million provision taken in the second quarter reflecting current claim levels, which remain above the Group’s previous provision assumption. The additional provision will now cover reactive claims of around 9,000 per week through to the end of August 2019,
The good news from this is that the UK economy will get another £700 million of PPI style Quantitative Easing which seems to be much more effective than the Bank of England version. The bad news is that the saga goes on and on and on in spite of us being told so many times that it is now over. Indeed the rate of provision has doubled from last time around. This means that in total Lloyds either has or is about to provide this in terms of PPI style QE. From Stephen Morris of Bloomberg News.
Lloyds Bank takes ANOTHER £700m in
#PPI charges today, taking their total since 2011 to 18.1 BILLION POUNDS………This is the 17th time the bank has increased its provisions for the scandal.
This is a feature of the ongoing banking scandal where we are drip fed the news as a type of expectations management as another bit is announced and we are told it is the last time again and again. The issues are legacy ones from the past but the management and response cycle has not changed. Actually if we look at the total numbers for misconduct New City Agenda has some chilling ones.
#Lloydsbank has now set aside £22.5 bn for misconduct since 2010
If we go wider to the whole industry it calculates this.
Total amounts set aside for PPI redress now stand at £42.1 billion – around 4.5 times the cost of the London 2012 Olympics. Banks have proved hopeless at estimating the total cost of their misconduct – with some increasing their PPI redress provisions 10 times over the past 3 years. Legitimate complaints have been rejected and banks have delayed writing to customers, meaning that the scandal has taken years to be resolved and cost billions in administrative costs.
If we return to the QE style impact it does make me wonder how much of the UK economic recovery has been due to this as we note for example its possible contribution to car sales. If we throw in every type of miss selling the total comes to £58.1 billion.
Before we move on there was also this. From the Financial Times.
The bank has also set up a £300m compensation scheme to repay 600,000 mortgage customers as a result of failings in its arrears policies between 2009 and 2016,
How can there be recent failings when everything is supposed to have been reformed?
On Tuesday Alex Brazier warned about looser lending standards. But according to Lloyds Bank in the Financial Times it is everybody else.
Mr Horta-Osório said the bank has been increasing its consumer lending — comprising credit cards, personal loans and car finance — at less than 4 per cent a year over the past six years, and remains under-represented in the sector versus its size.
I am very cautious about anyone who uses this sort of swerve “over the past 6 years” as no doubt 2011 and 12 are included ( remember the triple dip fears?) to get the number down. Still the Alex Brazier should be alert to that as it is exactly the sort of swerve the Bank of England uses itself.
Royal Bank of Scotland
We cannot look at UK banks and miss out RBS can we?! It did make BBC News earlier this month.
Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed a £3.65bn ($4.75bn) settlement for its role in the sale of risky mortgage products in the US before the financial crisis.
Also there is the on-going saga about the on and now off sale of Williams and Glyns. If I recall correctly around £1.8 billion was spent on this and the bill is rising yet again.From the BBC.
The European Commission has accepted a UK government plan to free Royal Bank of Scotland from an obligation to sell its Williams & Glyn division……..Under the new deal, which the EU has accepted “in principle”, RBS would spend £835m to help boost competition.
My old employer has seen plenty of scares in the credit crunch era. For the moment it seems to mostly be in the news via its likes to both the Donald and his circle. From the New York Times.
During the presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump pointed to his relationship with Deutsche Bank to counter reports that big banks were skeptical of doing business with him.
After a string of bankruptcies in his casino and hotel businesses in the 1990s, Mr. Trump became somewhat of an outsider on Wall Street, leaving the giant German bank among the few major financial institutions willing to lend him money.
Well as this from the Wall Street Journal points out today’s results have brought both good and bad news.
The German lender said Thursday net income was €466 million ($548 million), compared with €20 million for the same period a year earlier. Deutsche Bank’s companywide revenues declined 10% from the year-ago period, to €6.6 billion.
There is much here that seems familiar as the claimed new dawn looks yet again rather like the old one. There has been a reminder of this from another route today as the establishment reform agenda has led to this.
FCA say Li(e)bor is to end in 2021 citing that the bank benchmark is untenable ( @Ransquawk)
Good job there is no rush to do this like a big scandal destroying any credibility it had or something like that. We need a modern benchmark for new trades starting now whilst a sort of legacy Libor is kept for the existing contracts that cannot be changed.
Still there is always an alternative perspective on it all as this headline from Reuters indicates.
Lloyds bank posts biggest half-year profit since 2009