Is Lloyds Bank set to resume its dividend?
01:00, 26 februari 2015
· Av CMC Markets
Over the last 7 years Lloyds Banking Group has had a tortuous time since swallowing up the poison pill that turned out to be HBOS, and having to endure the indignity of a government bailout.
In all that time the bank has been at the epicentre of a number of scandals including PPI mis-selling, forex and Libor rigging.
At its six month trading update last year the bank announced another £1.1bn provision for legacy issues, PPI, Libor and other potential fines for FX price rigging, bringing the total set aside over the past few years to in excess of £10bn.
Since then the bank's internal probe found no evidence of wrongdoing on FX price rigging, returning its findings to the FCA.
The bank also announced another 9,000 job losses and the closure of 200 branches as it sought to streamline the business along a more digital model as customers adopt a more on line approach to their banking requirements, bringing the number of job losses over the past seven years to over 50,000.
With the advent of the internet and the increasing use of mobile devices the requirement for customers to go into an actual branch has made modern banking an increasingly faceless process, as customers pay for goods and services using credit or debit cards, mobile applications or use contactless payment.
It is hoped that this week’s full year results will mark a significant milestone in the banks recovery story with the hope that the Prudential Regulation Authority will allow the resumption of a dividend, with subsequent dividends thereafter.
We’ve already seen the UK government pare down further its stake in the bailed out lender this week from 25% to 24%, and markets are also likely to be looking for further signs that Lloyds will continue to pare down its stake in the recently spun off TSB.
In 2013 the bank reported a small pre-tax profit of £415m, for the first time in three years, while this week’s numbers are expected to be much better, with the hope that we could get a resumption of the dividend.
Expectations are for a decline in revenues from £37.9bn to £18.7bn, but pre-tax profits are expected to rise to £6.6bn, which if they come in as expected should signal a dividend of 1p a share. If this is approved it is likely to rise quite quickly in the coming years and the recent rise in the share price over the last two weeks appears to suggest that the market thinks dividend approval is coming.
The bank still needs to do more given that it remains one of the most complained about banks in terms of customer service, but as long as the UK economy remains on an even keel and there is no further political interference, then the prognosis remains positive while we remain above the 70p level which has acted as a floor for the share price for the last 18 months.
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