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A Bashing For The Banks On The Cards

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A bashing for the banks on the cards

A PR conundrum for the banks this week.

HSBC tomorrow, Barclays on Wednesday, Lloyds on Thursday and NatWest on Friday are all likely to have good stories to tell.

At least, good stories if the world didn’t seem to be collapsing all around them.

It is quite likely that the latest bank results are in this awkward sweet spot between the end of the last crisis and the start of the latest one.

Interest rates have jumped leading to soaring profits, yet the knock-on effect of that in terms of bad debts has yet to emerge.

The banks will surely try to say that they are aware of how tough it is out there, even if it isn’t quite yet showing in their own data.

There’s always a slight feeling with the banks that in order to keep the City happy for a bit they won’t warn about what is inevitably out there until they absolutely have to.

Perhaps this time it will be different. Perhaps the banks will admit the huge profits are a fleeting matter, with those profits best kept on hand to help out struggling customers later.

New PM Rishi Sunak has already shown himself not adverse to windfall taxes, and might find, like many before him, that the banks are too big a target to miss.

It seems doubtful his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will keep to a commitment made by Sunak to cut the banking surcharge from 8% to 3% either.

I suspect the banks are going to get bashed this week no matter what they say. I guess they might as well enjoy those windfall profits while they can.

Press release of the day

Forty new “challenger” banks emerged in the last year across the world, despite the tough economy.

There are towards 300 of these new lenders globally, says this from Finbold.

A looming recession surely threatens many of them, since they rely on venture capital funding to sustain growth.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Is this the week big tech unravels?

2) Is the US serious about cracking down on tech privacy issues?

3) Is HSBC serious about addressing its “greenwashing” issue?

4) Do US giants such as Coca-Cola and Microsoft even notice when there is a recession?

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