Friday, 29 July 2016

Brexit: and closing high street banks

It looks as though Ottery St Mary might no longer be able to depend on the services of a bank on its high street:
Lloyds Bank chief executive urged to retain Ottery’s branch in face of cuts - Claire Wright

As reported in the local press:

It seems that everything depends on everything else post-referendum:

Brexit shockwaves hit British jobs, banks, automobiles

Business | Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:59pm BST

Shockwaves from Britain's vote to leave the European Union rocked the economy on Thursday, with thousands of jobs lost at one of the country's biggest banks, big extra costs for Ford, and consumer confidence plunging.

Preparing for a Brexit-related slowdown, Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) said it would cut a further 3,000 jobs. One of Britain's biggest car dealerships, Inchcape, predicted growth in new car registrations would fall.

Ford (F.N) Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said a weaker British pound following the June 23 Brexit vote had cost the company about $60 million in the second quarter.

A month after the referendum, the latest signs of an economic slowdown are likely to fuel expectations of action by the Bank of England on Aug. 4, when many economists believe it will cut interest rates and might start buying bonds again to pump money into the financial system.

"The public are still absorbing the EU referendum result but it is clear that consumer confidence has taken a significant and clear dive," said Stephen Harmston of the YouGov polling organization.

Lloyds, Britain's largest retail bank, said it aims to save 400 million pounds ($530 million) by the end of 2017 by axing the additional jobs on top of 4,000 positions it has already said it would cut from its 75,000-strong workforce. It would close an additional 200 branches.

"Following the EU referendum the outlook for the UK economy is uncertain and, while the precise impact is dependent upon a number of factors including EU negotiations and political and economic events, a deceleration of growth seems likely," it said.

The economy grew fairly robustly in the run-up to the vote but economists expect businesses and consumers to cut back after the referendum shock, although a dive in the pound has helped some companies which make most of their earnings aboard.

If indeed the big banks are doing badly

... why not encourage the smaller banks?

Brexit could help smaller banks if cash rules change, say finance experts

20 July 2016

Britain's challenger banks could benefit from Brexit if it is used to overhaul financial rules to encourage competition from smaller players, according to the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee.

Andrew Tyrie, who chairs the Commons committee, said current financial rules could be placing smaller lenders at a disadvantage by taking a "one size fits all" approach.

He said: "The Bank of England and the Government both now need to consider whether the opportunity afforded by Brexit could enable the development of a regulatory regime less prejudicial to small and challenger banks."

His comments come after a group of challenger banks – including Metro Bank, Aldermore and Charter Savings Bank – wrote to Mr Tyrie in the wake of the Brexit vote, confirming hopes that an overhaul of financial rules would “result in a more proportionate approach to regulation of smaller banks”. They added: “This will help smaller banks and building societies compete more effectively and provide more credit to the economy.”

In particular they are hoping for a reduction in onerous rules on how much capital should be held by banks, which are approved at EU level. The group of banks believe the recent review of high street banking has failed to tackle the barriers to competition.

They said: “Without a far-reaching holistic approach, smaller banks will remain restricted to a narrow part of the market which is underserved by the larger banks. For the avoidance of doubt, we seek neither favours not any special treatment. All we ask for is a level competitive playing field,” they added.

But while Brexit could create opportunities to overhaul rules for lenders, there are concerns that an interest rate cut – which is widely expected next month – would put even more pressure on profits for smaller players.


No comments: