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Lloyds – recovering strongly..

The recovery of the bailed out British bank Lloyds is gathering momentum.  The resumption of paying a dividend an important milestone.  The next big step will be when the government sells down its entire stake.  Like RBS this is a bank that has been brought down to size and concentrated back into the UK (from 30 countries in 2010 to […]

RBS Initial thoughts

RBS lost £3.47bn after a £4bn write-down for the US business Citizens.  There is also a £2.2bn charge for litigation and conduct provisions.  However RBS losses are half the level of last year. The UK is seeing “strong growth from a reinvigorated mortgage business.”  Commercial banking “resumption of loan book growth”.  Both suggest the UK economy […]

RBS the future.

Fred Goodwin’s vision of a RBS as a banking collossus has been firmly consigned to history.  The investment bank is effectively being closed down and the bank’s global ambitions cut back to operating mainly in the UK and Ireland.  But the folly and grandiose ambition of the previous CEO has and continues to cost current shareholders (taxpayers) tens of billions. The underlying UK […]

You’ve never had it so good.

Tomorrow sees the release of the second estimate of 4Q GDP figures for the UK at 9.30am.  2.7% growth is forecast, unchanged from the first estimate and up from 2.6% in the previous quarter. I was at the IEA’s conference yesterday listening to presentations on the economy all day.  My conclusion from all this was that 2015 is shaping up to be a […]

Lego- Everything is Awesome

Lego has released its full year results today with sales up 12% and profits up 15% to DKK7bn (about £690mn).  The privately owned firm only gave out a few numbers in the presentation. But the one figure that grabbed my attention was the 33.9% operating margin.  That is an extraordinarily high profit margin for a […]

HSBC the numbers tell a story..

The costs of cleaning up past greed, excess and impropriety continue.  $1.187bn for forex settlements; $550mn settlement with the US Federal Housing Finance Authority; UK customer redress programmes cost $1.275bn and a further $632mn provision “arising from the ongoing review of compliance with the Consumer credit Act”. In total over $3.6bn. Add on Madoff related litigation costs which come to another $298mn and […]

HSBC – Hiding Secret Bank Contracts?

HSBC celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2015.  But from the annual report out today there is little cause for joy.  The report runs to 488 pages and I admit to not having read them all. Normally I go straight to the income statement, balance sheet and notes to the accounts and avoid the waffly crap written by […]

Its all Greek to me…

•Yanis Varoufakis @yanisvaroufakis •@StefanosManos Συμφωνώ κ. Μάνο – χωρίς να δεσμεύω την κυβέρνηση. Μόλις πάψει η διαπραγμάτευση να ξεκοκκαλίζει τον χρόνο μας θα το θέσω Anyone know what he tweeted? I also love his response to an American journalist who asked him “you’re not playing game theory, you’re not playing poker and you’re not bluffing. […]

And more on fund management fees…

The other thing you should be aware of is that the relatively new head of the Investment Association, Daniel Godfrey wrote about fees last week: http://www.theinvestmentassociation.org/media-centre/chief-executives-blog/2015/2015-02-10.html And he does issue a “mea culpa”: “We think this will avert a continuation of the trap we’ve all fallen into over the last twenty years with disclosure that nobody […]

Want to find out how much you’re being ripped off with your private pension?

Then this is the letter you should send the provider… Following on from my Sunday Times article on my husband’s rip off pension from Friends Life: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/money/investments/article1518381.ece   Then this is the letter than I sent to Friends Life. Please use it too! Good luck. #endripoffpensions     Name of company Address of company 5th […]