IN FOCUS: LLOYDS BANKING GRP ‘ IT SURVIVED A NEAR- DEATH EXPERIENCE’
The banking sector has had a near-death experience and many people have underestimated what that means for its future behaviour. The crisis changed the way the banking sector operates forever.
For the past 10 years, banks have been repeatedly stresstested, and Lloyds has had to go through all the skeletons in its cupboards.
We have increased our stake because we believe that behaviour at the banks is getting better and Lloyds’ financial position has improved.
The way that banks attract customers and how they use technology mean that they are better integrated into society than before. There is less price-gouging of customers because regulation has improved and banks are investing more than they have ever done.
While Lloyds is not a buoyant company, it has been very stable. When you’re looking at the global bull market that we have been in for eight years, there are very few companies that aren’t trading at all-time highs. Lloyds is one of those.
We like that the cash the bank generates comes back to investors in the form of dividends or stock buy-backs. come, given the increasing numbers of people entering the middle classes around the world. This will support long-term price growth and good dividend growth.
And your biggest failure?
We’ve had positions in telecoms that just haven’t worked. The lesson we learnt was that we needed to look more at the regulatory and political environment, and how this was going to have a significant impact on a business.
Do you have your own money in the fund?
Yes, absolutely. Myself and my family are invested.
How are you paid?
I am paid based on the performance of me, my team and BlackRock as a whole.
What would you have been if you weren’t a fund manager?
I would love to have been a fighter pilot. I was convinced that would be my job when I was eight years old and I still haven’t shaken that dream.