The Latest Headlines From Across The Banking Sector - December

2021-01-29| Ben Dineen

With December being a very busy month for most, we expect a few of the headlines might have slipped under the radar. Here’s a short summary of the stories that caught our eye over the Christmas period.

The return of dividends

  • The Bank of England confirmed in December that UK Banks can start paying shareholders dividends again.
  • These have been put on hold since March following pressure from the PRA, but this is no longer deemed necessary.
  • Whether banks decide to make dividend payments will be a good indicator of confidence to the market, particularly within the current trading environment.

Is the fall in regulatory fines permanent?

  • The number of fines by the FCA in 2020 has reduced by half from 2019 figures, however we don’t expect this trend to continue into 2021.
  • While this may be partially attributable to difficulties caused by the pandemic, other factors in the year also contributed to the significant reduction – a change in Chief Executive and focus on business post-Brexit.
  • The FCA will be no less stringent in ensuring regulations are fully adhered to and we see clear conduct risks emerging as a result of COVID-related customer treatments. Banks and Building societies would be wise to spend time getting things in order in readiness for the regulator, particularly after such a disruptive year.

And in case you missed it…

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