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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A Sustained Series of One-Offs, Or Generally Poor Banking?

Today, Lloyds Banking Group announced a provision of £500m in payments to 600,000 Halifax mortgage borrowers who may have been confused over the interest rate that applied to them, with some "missing out on lower mortgage payments." And Barclays Bank confirmed it's withdrawal from asset-based small business lending, explaining that its "proposition was not that compelling, comprehensive [or] competitive" (despite the market segment growing as a whole) and that it wasn't commercially worthwhile to spend money on compliance and other improvements.

In fact there's been a steady stream of poor retail banking stories since August:
So it's worth noting DE Shaw's £100m short position in Barclays.

One certainly wonders what else might be lurking in the woodpile. It's just a pity it takes so long for the FSA to investigate and announce it's fines. Wouldn't it be better if the data were in the market promptly, rather than leaving everyone to guess?

Or perhaps the FSA should announce when it isn't undertaking enforcement activity against a bank... ;-)
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