The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
Major five banks return to profit
All five major UK banks recorded a profit in the first half of the year, for the first time since 2010 according to KPMG.
Combined profits of some £16.5billion, modest lending growth and falling impairments all show that the banking sector is starting to get back on track after the financial crisis.
But the industry emerging is very different to how it was before the crisis started and is adjusting to a future in which, KPMG says, bank business models are “unlikely ever to be the same again”.
KPMG’s Bank Performance Benchmarking Report explores the key trends in the first half results of the big five UK headquartered banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Standard Chartered – and warnsthat, despite this better performance, real threats and uncertainties remain.
Catherine Burnet, of KPMG in Scotland, said: “While it is great that the most recent bank results are in the black, there remains real uncertainty on the shape of their business models in the future. We have reached an inflection point. Capital requirements are going to put huge pressure on banks to deleverage.
“The fear is that we will end up with a UK banking sector with very narrow choice, where individuals will not be able to get the products they need. We have to get the balance right between prudence and growth.” Royal Mail managers have voted overwhelmingly against the UK Government’s controversial plans to privatise the postal organisation.
The Unite union said its members who work in branches, mail centres and other offices, voted by 71% against the sell-off.
In a separate ballot of managers in the RoyalMail and the Post Office, proposals on pensions were also heavily rejected.
Unite said the pension proposals could see the annual pension cut by £3,788 for a Royal Mail manager retiring at 65 after 35 years service, from £23,099 to £19,311.
Post Office managers voted by 89% to reject proposals which Unite said could mean an employee on £15,000 a year seeing their pension reduced by £ 544, from £ 9,143 to £8,599.
Turnout in the pension ballot was 49.7%, while in the privatisation vote it was 50.7%.