© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: HSBC and Barclay’s buildings are lit up at dusk in the Canary Wharf financial district of London
By Iain Withers and Lawrence White
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s banks took a gloomier view than almost all their European peers in their second quarter earnings, as coronavirus fears, Brexit and low interest rates caused them to bake tougher “worst-case” scenarios into their risk models.
Investors had expected a torrid set of half-year results, but Barclays (L:), Standard Chartered (L:), Lloyds (L:), NatWest Group (L:) and HSBC (L:) fell short of these low expectations.
Provisions for potential loan losses across the five banks topped $22 billion, blowing past analyst forecasts and increasing selling pressure on shares already hammered by the pandemic this year.
By contrast, France’s BNP Paribas (PA:) and Credit Suisse (S:) beat analyst forecasts, benefiting from bumper trading volumes as well as relatively modest provisions.