A very interesting statement out of Lloyds Bank today. A lot of people in the City and Private Investors have run up the share price on the hopes of good news to come from Lloyds, in a similar vein to Barclays.
However, today's statement by Eric Daniels pours a lot of cold water on this. The losses from HBOS seem expected to be large enough to need the Government asset scheme after all. Plus Insurance business is down 22% (Aviva up 11% yesterday) and retail banking is more or less flat.
That leaves the Bank with only a good angle on cost-cutting post the merger, which it does seem to have got an early grip on. This will deliver savings for years to come. This also won't bring back any dividends to shareholders.
On the same day, Barclays has announced at 15% rise in business in the first quarter. Barclays almost looks like it is away again now, like HSBC.
RBS is due to report tomorrow, on the basis of the moment, the Government owned banks look like the laggards. A small short position for me on RBS today at some point.