British banks reporting season

The major British banks will report on their financial performance this week. Lloyd's and Standard Chartered are on Tuesday, Barclays Wednesday and RBS on Friday. What can we expect?

The long haul back from balance sheets strained by recession led bad loans, increased The Major British bankscapital and liquidity requirements and miss selling provisions should finally, like Bunyan's Pilgrim, see the load fall off their backs.

Expect most to turn a profit, loan and miss selling provisions will be down, and pay restraint in evidence.

The markets will look to Lloyd's to continue the  programme of repaying the government stake and given the looming election, expect the trailing of some privatisation giveaways.

Standard Chartered may have been hurt by the QE linked sell off in Asia, but it's exposure to the growth markets is still an asset in the long term.

Barclays investment banking results will be watched carefully given its historic reliance on this arm of the bank for profits.

RBS may be dogged by speculation over the Good bank - Bad bank argument and the eagerly anticipated report commissioned by the Chancellor will give a strong indication as to future direction.

What will be evident is that all should make a least a headline profit, and with the drag of miss selling beginning to fade, more upbeat economic news, and the prospects of sustained cheap money for some time to come, a period of real recovery could well be underway.

 

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