|Bid||2.6700 x 312500|
|Ask||2.6800 x 396000|
|Day's Range||2.6500 - 2.7000|
|52 Week Range||2.3000 - 3.4700|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.19|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||8.93|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.11 (4.25%)|
|1y Target Est||2.22|
● Wm Morrison led the FTSE 100 gainers after proposing an unexpected 2p special dividend. Interim results from the grocer matched expectations, with second-quarter retail like-for-like sales down 2.4 per cent but operating margins improving slightly. ● Babcock gained after the UK’s Ministry of Defence named it as preferred bidder to build five frigates at its Rosyth dockyard in Scotland.
Lloyds (LYG) and Barclays (BCS) are making extra provisions to be able to compensate customers, after the surge in last-minute claims related to the PPI scandal.
It rivals the penalties and profit destruction that hit the largest US banks after the 2008 financial crisis. Barclays and Lloyds on Monday became the latest lenders to admit that the cost of compensating customers for mis-sold payment protection insurance was much worse than anticipated. PPI was supposed to be a simple insurance product that allowed borrowers to maintain loan repayments if they lost their jobs or fell ill.
Britain's new system of banker accountability has led to a "tangible" improvement in culture but modest changes are still needed, UK Finance said on Tuesday. The trade body for banks in Britain published the sector's first major appraisal of the senior managers and certification regime (SMCR) introduced in 2016 as part of reforms implemented after the 2007-09 financial crisis that left taxpayers to bail out lenders while few individual bankers faced punishment. SMCR makes it easier for regulators to pinpoint blame when things go wrong.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Lloyds Banking Group Plc is within touching distance of putting behind it a scandal that has cost a breathtaking 21.8 billion pounds ($27 billion). But any celebration would be premature: The lender is, in effect, one of the biggest bets on Brexit Britain.On Monday, Lloyds said it would suspend a share buyback after setting aside an additional 1.8 billion pounds to compensate customers who were sold payment protection insurance they didn’t need or want. The announcement wasn’t a huge surprise: Its rivals had already signaled a spike in last-minute claims after regulators gave consumers until the end of last month to claim redress — using a puppet Arnold Schwarzenegger to publicize the deadline.The end of the costliest scandal in the history of the British banking industry is unlikely to prove a turning point. Banks still face the most uncertain political situation in a generation, and there’s little their managers can do to prepare for what may come next: a no-deal Brexit or an election victory by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.Analysts at Citigroup Inc. estimate that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, U.K. loan growth would drop in line with a likely economic contraction, cutting British bank earnings by as much as 9%. A possible decline in interest rates would also eat into profit and the big unknown — the pace at which loan losses would build up — would further erode income.Add to the uncertainty a potential election and Labour victory. In addition to policies that would affect the economy broadly — handing 10% of companies to employees, increases in corporate taxes — the opposition party also envisions changing the law to stop banks from shuttering branches. Cutting costs by closing outlets has been at the heart of Lloyds’s restructuring under Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio.To be sure, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may yet clinch an agreement with the European Union on Brexit, and a Labour election victory may not materialize.Yet the risks to Lloyds appear to be near acute: U.K. consumer and commercial lending accounts for more than three quarters of its assets, and its insurance and wealth businesses are also largely domestic.Since the Brexit referendum, Lloyds’ shares have dropped about 31%, under-performing both the FTSE-100 Index — which is up 15% — and the FTSE 350 Banks Index.Without a crystal ball, quantifying the cost of Brexit to the country remains tricky at best. The Bank of England now expects the peak-to-trough hit to GDP to be about 5.5.Many see value in Lloyds — 90% of analysts recommend buying or holding the stock. At around 13% return on equity and a price to book of 0.8 times it isn’t a commanding valuation. But the threats of Brexit and a Labour government may be even more painful than the damage inflicted by a plastic strongman.To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Lloyds Banking Group Plc suspended its share buyback after a last-minute rush of compensation claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance, taking its total costs for the scandal to 21.8 billion pounds ($26.7 billion).Lloyds shares fell as much as 2.5% in London. The bank is making a further provision of between 1.2 billion pounds and 1.8 billion pounds in the third quarter after claims were as much as four times higher than expected, according to a statement Monday.The PPI scandal is the most expensive in history for U.K. banks, and while regulators had urged the public to seek redress for years through high-profile advertising campaigns, the surge before the August 29 cutoff caught lenders flat-footed. Last week, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said it plans to set aside as much as 900 million pounds more for PPI, while CYBG Plc, the owner of the Virgin Money brand, plunged after adding to its provisions.“LLoyds again got its sums completely wrong,” Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said in an email. British banks’ shareholders “have been consistently low-balled, fobbed off and undersold the impact of the redress.”The policies, which were intended to cover missed debt repayments, were often sold using aggressive tactics and in the worst cases, banks misled customers by telling them that PPI was mandatory for loans. Lloyds’ new provisions have pushed the total cost for the industry above 50 billion pounds, according to New City Agenda, a London-based think tank.Lloyds’ extra provision is at the top end of expectations, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Jonathan Tyce and Georgi Gunchev wrote. The bank said it received about 600,000 to 800,000 PPI information requests per week during the deadline month, well above its previous assumption of 190,000 per week.“The board will give consideration to the distribution of surplus capital at the year end and continues to target a progressive and sustainable ordinary dividend,” Lloyds said.Lloyds, which is the most exposed British lender to PPI, had a 1.75 billion-pound buyback program for the year, and the suspension means about a third of that sum will likely be unused.Arnold SchwarzeneggerFor two years, a major television ad campaign orchestrated by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority featured an animatronic, heavily accented likeness of Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, urging people to “do it nooooow” and see whether they qualified for a a PPI claim.The regulator also set up a dedicated call center and said that as of June, it had received more than 44,000 calls and over 11 million views of its PPI website.Barclays Plc, the second most exposed U.K. bank, has yet to make a comment about the August PPI claim rush.“It seems Barclays will be sure to follow suit,” Markets.com’s Wilson said. “At least the end is in sight for banks and their shareholders.”(Adds analyst comment, details on advertising campaign from fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Harry Wilson.To contact the reporter on this story: Viren Vaghela in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at firstname.lastname@example.org, Keith CampbellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
European stock markets opened slightly higher after data showed a surprise rise in German exports and on firmer expectations of a stimulus by the European Central Bank later this week. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1% at 0715 GMT. With euro zone inflation well below target, market participants are betting that the ECB will cut its interest rate on bank overnight deposits for the first time since 2016 when it meets on Thursday.
Lloyds and Barclays on Monday said a surge in late claims could see them pay out around $2 billion more each to settle Britain's costliest consumer banking scandal, the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI). Lloyds on Monday said it will set aside up to an extra 1.8 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) to settle PPI claims, while Barclays later said it would set aside between 1.2 billion pounds and 1.6 billion pounds. Lloyds also said it was suspending its 2019 share buyback program.
(Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. Boris Johnson’s six-week-old premiership was thrown into yet more disarray after his brother quit the government in protest at his Brexit strategy. After three days of humiliation, the beleaguered prime minister launched a fightback in a speech in northern England, appealing directly to the public for an election to resolve Britain’s political crisis. He said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask the European Union to delay Brexit again.Key Developments:Minister Jo Johnson resigns, citing tension between “family loyalty and the “national interest”Johnson making appeal for election Prime Minister will try again to persuade MPs to trigger an early general election on MondayHouse of Lords debating bill to block no-deal Brexit until FridaySplits appear in cabinet over Johnson’s tacticsThe pound rose 0.6%U.K. Said to Want to Unpick Deal (6:05 p.m.)Boris Johnson wants to remove several parts of the deal that was struck between the U.K. and EU in November, according to an official briefed on Wednesday’s negotiations in Brussels.David Frost, Johnson’s envoy, told the European Commission the U.K. wants to:Remove many articles of the contentious Irish border “backstop,” leaving only provisions on citizens’ rights, the common travel area and single electricity market on the island of Ireland. He didn’t say what the U.K. wanted in its place.Take out references in the political declaration on the future relationship to the “level playing field” which would keep the U.K. aligned to many of the EU’s standards. The EU says this is necessary for an ambitious free-trade agreementChange the way the agreement would be governed to take out references to the European Court of Justice. The EU said this would affect future police and judicial cooperation.Johnson Doubles Down on Push for Oct. 15 Election (6 p.m.)Boris Johnson pledged to hold a general election on Oct. 15, or even earlier, if opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wants that. The prime minister was responding to a question about whether he can be trusted not to shift the date of an election in order to take the U.K. out of the EU without a deal.“We want an election on October 15 and indeed earlier if he wants: :Let’s crack on with it,” Johnson said. “If he wants to avoid a no-deal Brexit, or if he wants to avoid a hard Brexit then he should believe in himself to go to Brussels on Oct. 17 to that crucial summit and sort it out.”The premier said the current situation is unsustainable. “I really don’t see how you can have a situation in which the British ability to negotiate is absolutely torpedoed by Parliament in this way, with powers of the British people handed over to Brussels so that we can be kept incarcerated in the EU without that actually being put to the people in the form of a vote,” he said.Johnson Glosses Over Split With Brother (5:35 p.m.)Johnson was asked about his brother Jo’s decision to quit the government earlier in the day, citing a conflict between family loyalties and the national interest (see 11:30 a.m.). He glossed over questions about whether he was acting in the national interest and said “people disagree about the EU.”“Jo doesn’t agree with me about the EU because it’s an issue obviously that divides families, that divides everybody,” said Johnson, before noting that his brother supports his wider agenda for the country.The premier also said he’d spoken to his brother earlier in the day, and praised his service as a minister for science and universities.Johnson: ‘Rather be Dead’ Than Delay Brexit (5:30 p.m.)Johnson said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay in Brexit beyond Oct. 31.Answering questions after a speech in northern England, Johnson said he guaranteed that he wouldn’t ask for an extension from the EU while he is prime minister. But he dodged the question when he was asked if this meant he would resign rather than sign up to another delay.Johnson Makes Plea For Election (5:18 p.m.)Johnson is making a speech at a police academy in the north of England in which he is expected to make a plea for a general election.He will also reassert his pledge to recruit 20,000 police officers and trumpet his commitment to law and order as he gets a head start in the campaign for votes.But on a stage with dozens of police officers, his surroundings may be a gift to opponents who have accused him of staging a “coup” by suspending Parliament -- and to sketch writers likely to suggest he’s taking his commitment to “taking back control” to a new level.Johnson to Meet Varadkar on Monday (4:45 p.m.)Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel to Dublin early on Monday to meet his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar. He’ll return to London in time to be in the House of Commons for the key vote on a general election in the evening, his spokeswoman, Alison Donnelly, told reporters.U.K. Offers Banks $1.6b to Guarantee Brexit Loans (3:45 p.m.)Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom and other senior ministers met with lenders including HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays on Thursday to encourage them to support small and medium-sized companies through Brexit.The state-backed British Business Bank has 1.3 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) available to help banks lend money to businesses that need it, the Business Department said in an emailed statement. “Lenders must empower their SME customers to seize the huge variety of opportunities that lie ahead as we leave the EU on October 3,” Leadsom said.Leadsom was joined in the meeting by Michael Gove, the cabinet minister in charge of no-deal Brexit preparations, Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen and Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst. Other lenders included Bibby Financial Services, Virgin Money, Metro Bank, RBS, Santander and TSB.Johnson Calls Corbyn ‘Chlorinated Chicken’ Again (1:15 p.m.)Boris Johnson met U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Downing Street, and used the opportunity -- while talking about a future free-trade deal -- to make the same joke as Wednesday when he called opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a chicken because he didn’t vote for an early general election .“We will make sure we do everything we can to increase free trade,’’ Johnson told Pence. “The National Health Service is not on the table as far as our negotiations go -- we’re not too keen on that chlorinated chicken either. We have a gigantic chlorinated chicken already here on the opposition bench.”Pence said the U.S. is “ready, willing and able” to offer the U.K. a trade deal.No-Deal Bill to Get Rapid Royal Assent (1:15 p.m.)Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said that the bill passed by MPs last night blocking a no-deal Brexit will get royal assent -- come into law -- “speedily” once it is debated for the final time in the Commons on Monday. The bill is currently in the House of Lords, and is due to return to the Commons, potentially with amendments, by Friday evening.Gove Sees Johnson Resignation as Unlikely (1:05 p.m.)Michael Gove, the Cabinet minister in charge of no-deal planning, is still speaking to the House of Commons committee on Brexit. Asked whether Boris Johnson would resign rather than ask for another delay, he said: “I don’t think the prime minister has any intention of resigning.”Under legislation working its way through Parliament, Johnson would be compelled to seek a delay to Brexit if by Oct. 19 he’s failed to secure a new Brexit deal or persuade MPs to back a departure without a deal. The premier said in reaction: “I refuse to do this.” Instead, he wants a general election before then -- but MPs refused to vote for one.That means if Johnson fails to secure an election, on Oct. 19 he’d be faced with the conundrum of either writing the letter or disobeying the law.Berger: Not Clear Where She’ll Stand for Lib Dems (1 p.m.)Luciana Berger, who joined the Liberal Democrats as an MP Thursday, said it was not yet clear if she will stand in the district of Liverpool Wavertree at the next election because of the party’s localized decision-making structure. It’s “not a decision for me,’’ she told Sky News. “I’d like to remain making a contribution to public life.’’Berger quit the Labour Party in February citing anti-Semitic bullying. She has remained as an independent candidate until today. The Liverpool Wavertree district has a strong Labour history and the Liberal Democrats have already selected a candidate for the area.MPs Will Vote Again on Early Election (12:50 p.m.)Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg laid out a list of motions that will be debated in the House of Commons on Monday, culminating in a “motion relating to an early parliamentary general election.”It will be a second attempt by the government to force an early general election -- the next one currently isn’t due until 2022. Late on Wednesday, Johnson tried and failed to secure the 434 votes he needs -- two thirds of the House of Commons -- to call a ballot.Opposition parties declined to approve of an election because they want a bill to pass into law that would stave off a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31. By Monday, that bill is likely to have passed into law, and the government’s calculation is that opposition parties may then swing behind his demand for a fresh election.Rees-Mogg also said that all bills needed for the U.K. to leave the European Union are in place.Gove Says New Brexit Deal Can Be Secured (12:35 p.m.)Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, who’s in charge of no-deal Brexit preparations, said the changes to the Brexit agreement being sought by Johnson are “eminently achievable.’’He said that while he would support former Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal if it came back to the house of Commons for another vote, the changes Johnson is seeking would mark a “material improvement” in the deal. They are to strip out the Irish backstop, and alter the political declaration to make clear Britain would be outside the customs union and single market. He also said the U.K. wants a free-trade agreement with the bloc.Gove was giving evidence to the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee. He earlier said that the Operation Yellowhammer document spelling out the potential impact of a no-deal exit that was leaked to the Sunday Times last month represented a “reasonable worst-case scenario,” and not a base-case prediction. He said there was no evidence to suggest former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond could have been behind the leak.Business Secretary to Meet With Banks (11:40 a.m.)Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom will meet later Thursday with executives from the country’s main banks to discuss their support for small and medium-sized companies through Brexit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, told reporters in London.Johnson Wants Election Before Oct. 17 EU Council (11:35 a.m.)Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say in a speech this afternoon that he wants an election before the EU council meeting on Oct. 17, his spokesman James Slack said.“The prime minister believes we should have the election before the EU council and asks MPs to reflect on the sustainability of their position,’’ Slack told reporters. “Having chosen to introduce a bill that destroys our negotiating position,’’ he said, politicians “ must take responsibility for their actions.”Johnson’s Brother Quits Over Strategy (11:30 a.m.)Boris Johnson’s own brother, Jo Johnson, said he’s quitting the government and his seat in Parliament because of differences with the prime minister.“In recent weeks I’ve been torn between family loyalty and the national interest,” Jo Johnson said on Twitter. “It’s an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister. overandout.”The departure is a severe blow to the prime minister at a time when he’s alienated the moderate wing of his party by expelling 21 MPs on Tuesday because they voted against the government in order to stave off the risk of a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31.Jo Johnson is a longstanding pro-European -- and had quit as a minister under former Prime Minister Theresa May because he believed the country needed a second referendum on Brexit. It raised eyebrows when he agreed to serve in his brother’s government -- because the premier was the figurehead of the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum.Former Labour MP Berger Joins Liberal Democrats (11 a.m.)While Johnson has been expelling MPs from his party, Parliament’s fourth party, the Liberal Democrats keep growing. Luciana Berger, who quit Labour earlier in the year, said on Thursday she’s joined the Liberal Democrats.It’s the party’s second addition of the week, after Philip Lee’s defection from the Conservatives on Tuesday deprived Johnson of his majority. They now have 16 MPs.Javid Hopes Rebels Can Return (9:30 a.m.)Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said he wants the 21 rebels expelled from the Conservative Party on Tuesday to be reinstated, though he also added Johnson had “no choice” but to fire them.Javid’s comments follow reports of an argument in cabinet this week in which a group of senior ministers, led by no-deal Brexit minister Michael Gove, demanded that Johnson should give the rebels a way back into the party. The prime minister refused.“I would like to see those colleagues come back at some point,” Javid told LBC radio. “They are not just my colleagues; these are my friends, they are good Conservatives.”Javid said it was right for Johnson to make Tuesday’s vote -- allowing Parliament to seize the legislative timetable in order to block a no-deal Brexit -- a matter of confidence in the government. Those who voted against it knew the “consequences,” he said.Swinson Wants Extension Before Election (9 a.m.)Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said she wants a general election only after an extension to Brexit has been agreed with Brussels.She said she believes Johnson wants an election before his exit deadline of Oct. 31 so he can take the U.K. out of the EU without a deal and blame Brussels for the failure to get an agreement.“He’s frightened of being found out,” she told Sky News. “He’s got an opportunity to go and get that great deal he said he could get and get it past Parliament, but he’s frightened to do that.”Caroline Nokes, one of the MPs expelled from the Tory Party on Tuesday, also said Johnson shouldn’t rush a national vote. “It’s really cynical to try to force through an election,” she said. “The tool we need in Parliament is time.”Labour ‘Consulting’ on Election Timing (Earlier)Labour Treasury Spokesman John McDonnell said the party is consulting with its own MPs and other parties over the best timing for a general election.While some want a national vote once a law against a no-deal Brexit is enacted, others want to wait until after a further delay to Jan. 31 has been secured before going to the country. None of the opposition parties have any confidence that Johnson will keep to his word, he said in media interviews on Thursday morning.“We have to be the adults in the room,” McDonnell said, after comparing Johnson to a toddler having a tantrum. Labour wants to keep “as much control as we possibly over the date of that election,” he told Sky News.Earlier:Johnson Boxed In Over Brexit as Bill Is Pushed Through LordsPound Rally Stalls After Lawmakers Reject Johnson’s Brexit PlansBrussels Edition: No Deal for Boris\--With assistance from Justin Sink, Ian Wishart and Thomas Penny.To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at email@example.com;Kitty Donaldson in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jessica Shankleman in Wakefield at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org, Stuart Biggs, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares in CYBG plunged 20 per cent on Thursday after the UK lender revealed the latest hit from the escalating payment protection insurance scandal, triggering more than £50m of paper losses for Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. CYBG, the UK’s sixth-largest bank, lost a fifth of its market value after it warned that a last-minute spike in customer complaints about mis-sold PPI would wipe £300m-£450m off its profits — more than 20 per cent of its previous market capitalisation. CYBG bought rival Virgin Money last year in a deal that was supposed to solidify its position as a serious challenger to the UK’s big five banks.
(Bloomberg) -- Lloyds Banking Group Plc is snapping up Tesco Plc’s mortgage portfolio for about 3.8 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) as the British bank bets the U.K. economy will hold up despite the prospects of a disorderly Brexit.The country’s biggest mortgage lender is tightening its grip, acquiring over 23,000 mortgage customers as part of the deal, according to statements from both companies. Tesco, which has been cutting costs and slimming staff, said in May that it’s ending mortgage lending and exiting its home loan book, citing challenging conditions that have pushed some smaller lenders out of the market.It’s in line with Tesco Bank’s “strategy of focusing on a reduced number of products and services that serve the broad range of Tesco customers, and will reduce operating and funding costs,” the supermarket operator said in its statement on Tuesday.Tesco shares fell 0.6% in early London trade, while Lloyds slipped 1.3%.The Lloyds purchase comes amid warnings that U.K. banks could see a decline in profitability as the risk of a no-deal Brexit increases. Citigroup Inc. has estimated that such an event could cut domestic banks’ earnings by as much as 25%, while U.K. house prices have been falling over Brexit and higher property taxes.Lloyds has taken a less downbeat tone and is one of the few U.K. banks to not make a large provision for a Brexit-related downturn. Still, Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio has said that continued uncertainty over the U.K.’s European Union withdrawal could affect the economy.‘Target Areas’A “strong free capital build gives us flexibility to consider inorganic growth opportunities in selected target areas where we see value for shareholders,” the bank said. “The transaction is in line with this approach.”In May, Lloyds was given more breathing space on its capital requirements. It has lowered its targets for its CET1 ratio, a measure of capital strength, to around 12.5%, potentially freeing up about 1 billion pounds in excess capital. The purchase will be funded using existing “internal resources” with minimal impact on capital, Lloyds said.The deal is Tesco CEO Dave Lewis’s largest divestment since the 4 billion-pound sale of Korean assets four years ago. In his five years leading the company, Lewis has trimmed debt enough for the supermarket operator to regain its investment-grade credit rating at Moody’s Investors Service. Tesco is also reducing costs through job cuts, having announced the elimination of another 4,500 positions last month.(Updates with Tesco strategy in final paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Mulier in Geneva at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at firstname.lastname@example.org, Eric Pfanner, Marion DakersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Tesco once sought to make everything from law to mortgages as simple, if not as cheap, as a tin of beans. Its share of the UK mortgage market at sub-1 per cent is not much more than a tin of beans compared with the likes of Lloyds and RBS. Tesco’s net interest margins on the loans — the difference between what it pays for funds and earns from lending — are a fairly dismal 2-ish per cent. That is about half what it earns overall from banking.
Lloyds Banking Group has agreed to buy Tesco Bank’s mortgage book in a £3.8bn deal, after a vicious price war led the latter to abandon the mortgage market. Vim Maru, Lloyds director of retail, said: “This is a good deal for the group, our shareholders and Tesco’s mortgage customers.
This article is for investors who would like to improve their understanding of price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios...
Lloyds Banking Group is launching a specialist economic abuse support team with powers to help liberate thousands of vulnerable customers from financial oppression at the hands of their partners. After campaigns to improve financial support for customers with cancer and mental ill health, Lloyds is look to people who suffer domestic abuse through the arbitrary control, exploitation or sabotage of household finances and debt. Britain's biggest mortgage lender is training five staff members to provide a telephone hotline offering advice and guidance to at-risk customers, who will initially be referred to Lloyds by charity partners and victim refuges.
Stocks got absolutely crushed at the start of August. From Wednesday's less dovish than hoped for rate cut onward, the stock market went into steep decline. President Donald Trump's latest provocations in the trade war only added to the nervous mood on Wall Street. Instead of looking for stocks to invest in, traders headed for the exits.The S&P 500 dropped far under the psychological 3,000 level. Meanwhile the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1,000 points from its recent highs. Tech stocks got particularly hammered.With all that selling, however, comes opportunity. In particular, a lot of folks are looking for lower-priced stocks that could move back up quickly once the market finds its footing. While stock price alone doesn't indicate a company's value or riskiness -- it is market cap that counts more -- low-priced shares are often more volatile. As a result, these stocks could bounce back in a hurry as the market recovers.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 8 Dividend Aristocrat Stocks to Buy Now No Matter What Here are seven stocks to invest in now following the recent market declines. Stocks to Invest in: Fitbit (FIT)Source: Shutterstock Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) just announced another lousy quarter. Traders, not surprisingly, have pummeled the stock down to fresh 52-week lows. And, since its IPO, FIT stock is now down a crushing 90%. Since February alone, FIT stock has lost nearly half its remaining value.But it's not game over for Fitbit just yet. That's because the company has a substantial net cash position. It should exit 2019 with something like $550 million to $600 million in cash against a market cap of just $850 million. This means that a competitor can buy Fitbit for something like $1.2 billion -- a nearly 50% premium to the current depressed stock price -- and still only pay $600 million to get the actual company net of cash.Why would a competitor buy Fitbit? To compete with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Apple's watches are doing well, and it is hard for Fitbit to compete as a standalone company. They are having to cut expenses, including research, which makes it hard to keep up. By contrast, a competitor with far more resources could benefit from having the Fitbit brand and reinvigorating it with more tech and marketing dollars. FIT stock will likely continue to erode in value if nothing happens, however, so be careful of that. The exit strategy here is clearly a takeover. Lloyds Banking Group (LYG)Source: Shutterstock Britain's will-they-or-won't-they Brexit drama has taken another turn. The controversial right-wing figure Boris Johnson became Britain's newest prime minister just over a week ago. Already, his new government was dealt a blow. A special election dropped Johnson's conservative party majority to just one seat. This heightens speculation that Johnson will need to call new elections before Oct. 31, which is the current deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.All this uncertainty has led British assets to fall even farther. The British pound is back to its 2016 lows against the dollar and is threatening to hit new all-time lows against the euro. People are dumping everything British. Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE:LYG), the $45 billion financial giant, has seen its stock slump from $2.80 to $2.45 just in the past few weeks. But is it really so bad?For one thing, the Brexit drama has been running for more than three years now. The British economy has already slowed down due to uncertainty. At this point, any businesses and consumers who were going to act out of worry about Brexit have done so already. On the plus side, Johnson is promising pro-business measures. He's often described as a British Trump, which certainly raises people's concerns. But if you bought stocks when Trump was elected, you've done very well. Johnson could usher in a similar surprise for beaten-down British stocks. * 5 Cheap Stocks to Buy Now That the Fed Cut Rates LYG stock in particular is now offering a more than 7% trailing-12-month dividend yield. It's trading at just 9x trailing and 8x forward earnings. It is also at less than 80% of book value. Even mediocre large banks tend to trade for at least book value if not a slight premium, which would suggest LYG stock is worth closer to $3.50 instead of the current $2.50 price. Groupon (GRPN)Source: Shutterstock Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) certainly isn't a hot stock anymore. At one time, people thought Groupon could be the internet's next big advertising platform. In fact, Groupon was so popular that rivals like Living Social attracted multi-billion dollar valuations as well. Well, the hype has definitely worn off. But Groupon is far from dead, and its share price discount makes it one of our stocks to invest in.The company has consolidated its rivals and faces little meaningful competition in its niche anymore. And business is still strong; there are plenty of people who like coupons, after all.It's not all great news for Groupon. The company's revenues have been declining at a single digit rate in recent years. It is trying to offset that with bigger average deal and international expansion. However, with the company's strong cash position, it has plenty of time to turn things around. Additionally, trading at less than 10x cash flow and 5x EBITDA, GRPN stock is cheap for an internet property. That could make it a takeover target for a larger firm or private equity. Cemex (CX)Source: Wikimedia CommonsIf you're like many people, the last time you heard about Cemex (NYSE:CX) was a few years ago when CNBC was hyping a few trades to take advantage of the Trump election. In theory, Cemex was supposed to be a great pick because they'd supply cement to build the wall. For a variety of reasons, this never played out, and CX stock has dropped 50% since then, including a 20% decline just over the past month.But with Cemex totally off everyone's radars, it has now become one of our stocks to invest in. Although Cemex is a Mexican company, it is one of the largest cement producers in America as well. Not surprisingly, investors have dumped the stock given concerns about the American economy and the uncertainty in Mexico since the new government took over there last winter.However, this consensus is mistaken. For one thing, Mexico's economic outlook is still strong, particularly with the North American Free Trade Agreement replacement deal now heading for approval. And the panic over a potential U.S. recession seems overblown. The jobs numbers and consumer confidence are both still near 20-year highs. Additionally, the Federal Reserve rate cuts will lower interest rates, allowing businesses to borrow more money. This, in turn, leads to more construction. * 10 Stocks to Buy on the Trade War Dip Why buy Cemex stock specifically? The company is selling off non-core European assets at favorable valuation ratios to reduce its debt. With that taken care of, the company should return more capital to shareholders in coming years. On a current EV/EBITDA basis, CX stock should be worth closer to $5 instead of the current $3.25 price. Additionally, when CX stock traded down to $3 in both 2012 and 2016, it subsequently rebounded to $10. A similar repeat now would cause shares to triple from here. B2Gold (BTG)Source: Shutterstock I last discussed B2Gold (NYSEAMERICAN:BTG) in my "3 Stocks Under $3 To Consider" article earlier this summer. BTG stock is no longer eligible for that category, as shares have surged 20% in recent weeks to top the $3 mark. In fact, BTG stock just hit fresh 52-week highs on Wednesday despite the broad market selling.I'd refer you back to my previous article for a more detailed overview of B2Gold's operations. The summary, however, remains that it is one of the most diversified smaller gold mining operations out there with impressive growth and an above-average caliber management team.More broadly, gold is continuing to power higher this summer, and silver has started tagging along for the ride. This indicates that investor sentiment for precious metals is rapidly heating up. Throw in the recent Fed rate cut and market unease elsewhere and things are coming together nicely for the precious metals here. BTG stock will continue to ride that wave higher. Sandstorm Gold (SAND)Source: Shutterstock With gold stocks on an absolute tear, it's worth featuring another one among our stocks to invest in as well. Sandstorm Gold (NYSEAMERICAN:SAND) is different from most gold firms because it is a streamer, not a miner. That means that it gets royalties from the production of other company's mines. In effect, Sandstorm is a specialty mining finance operation. This greatly reduces operating risk, because the mining firm, not the royalty owner, takes the hit if the mine fails to live up to expectations or other issues such as strikes or geopolitical problems occur.Over the past decade, while gold mining stocks, as a sector, have lost close to half their value in composite, the streamers have gained value. And Sandstorm, as one of the smallest and fastest-growing, has incredible leverage to the upside in the price of gold. Sandstorm just announced record gold-equivalent ounces of production last quarter. And it has big new asset streams coming online over the next couple of years. * 10 Cyclical Stocks to Buy (or Sell) Now SAND stock is already close to a double from last year's lows. But it could have a lot farther to go, especially if gold tops $1,500/oz this fall. Republic First Bancorp (FRBK)Source: Shutterstock Republic First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FRBK) is the last of our stocks to invest in. It's also in the doghouse at the moment. The northeastern regional bank has dropped from $7.50 in December to near $4 per share this summer. But it may not stay there long.Republic First has a few positive features that most small banks lack. For one, it has a superstar backer in the form of Vernon Hill. Hill led Commerce Bank to such great success that Canadian giant Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD) eventually acquired it. Hill used that success to launch Metro Bank in the U.K. and bolster Republic First over here. He owns a large chunk of FRBK stock, and First Republic has brought in many of Hill's executives from Commerce to work for it.Republic First is now growing aggressively. It's posting double-digit deposit and loan growth rates. On top of that, the bank is set to open a premium Manhattan branch location at the corner of 14th St. and 5th Ave., which is a massive pedestrian traffic spot. Combine the bank's aggressive growth with its book value -- currently $4.22 -- and there's a lot to like. Downside on the stock is most limited as it already merely trades for book. But with 15%-20% growth in deposits and loans annually, this thing could take off in a hurry, as it is one of the fastest-growing Northeastern banks.At the time of this writing, Ian Bezek owned SAND stock. You can reach him on Twitter at @irbezek. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 8 Dividend Aristocrat Stocks to Buy Now No Matter What * 7 Stocks to Buy to Ride the Vegan Wave * 4 Safe Stocks to Buy Amid Trade War Turbulence The post 7 Stocks Under $7 to Invest in Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.