While investors celebrate the fallacy that is Q1 bank earnings, an odd thing is happening across the pond: they’re telling the truth. Lloyds Banking Group was out today with an astonishingly truthful look at what the financial services sector looks like when you don’t get billions in “FICC” revenue from “trading” (read: AIG) and silly accounting tricks that help hide non-performing assets.
I’ve attached some highlights from the statement. In a nutshell, this banking crisis is FAR from over….The stock is getting hammered for those that care….
Rising impairment levels
Consistent with the guidance given in February this year, during the first quarter of 2009 we have experienced a significant rise in impairment levels in the Group’s lending portfolios. This largely represents the impact of the further economic deterioration, including the effects of rising unemployment, reduced corporate cash flows, the continuing impact of lower house prices and falls in the value of commercial real estate.
As we have previously announced, we continue to expect retail impairment levels to rise significantly during 2009, in both the secured and unsecured lending portfolios. We expect continuing declines in commercial property prices and reducing levels of corporate cash flows as we anticipate a continuing difficult economic outlook. These factors are now leading us to anticipate further corporate defaults during the rest of the year, notably in the commercial real estate portfolios in the UK and Ireland. In particular, the real estate exposures in the legacy HBOS portfolios are more sensitive to a downturn in the economic environment. As a result, corporate impairments in 2009 are expected to be more than 50 per cent higher than in 2008.
A little honesty on this side of the pond would be nice….