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Banks Prepare for Loan Losses Amid Pandemic


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Latest news

  • US Republicans and Democrats warn they are “far apart” on stimulus plans, with unemployment benefits which expire soon

  • Germany has tightened its slaughterhouse laws following virus outbreaks

  • British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline warned its annual profits would be hit unless more patients restarted vaccination against standard diseases, a process that was severely disrupted by the blockages

Banks Expect Big Losses on Pandemic Lending

A common theme of the second quarter reporting season has been the growing acceptance by banks that many of their emergency pandemic loans will go wrong.

Barclays said this morning he was adding £ 1.6bn to his reserves for bad debts, although the blow was mitigated by an increase in income from its investment banking business. German Bank, Germany’s largest lender, also reported a quarterly loss mitigated by a windfall on bond swaps. Virgin money – the UK’s sixth largest bank – braces for an increase in mortgage defaults as the government holiday program ends and many people lose their jobs.

European banks could suffer up to € 800 billion in loan losses over the next three years in the worst-case scenario which includes a second wave of coronavirus infections, according to consultants Oliver Wyman. UBS, the first of the big names to report last week, announced an additional $ 272 million in loan loss charges, although it was also bolstered by profits from its investment banking arm.

American institutions could be hit even harder, according to a study reported by US banking editor Laura Noonan. Consultancy Accenture projects loan loss charges of more than $ 880 billion in 100 US and European banks from 2020 to 2022. Losses for US institutions represent 10.2% of their loan portfolio in 2020, up from 4.6 % for those in Europe.

Governments and regulators have recognized the need to make loans available. The Fed yesterday extended its emergency loan three months, while the FT revealed this week that the UK Treasury was in talks with the nation’s largest banks to tackle bad debts expected from the government’s coronavirus “rebound” loan program.

“The first quarter was about whether you are resilient and, for some, able to survive,” UBS chief Sergio Ermotti told the FT this week. “The second trimester will be about whether you can adapt. We have already entered the “lessons learned” phase of the coronavirus. “


Global corporate bond emissions halved in July after induced pandemic borrowing frenzy of previous months has slowed down. Businesses have rushed to issue debt to replace lost gains since March, when the Fed announced measures to support the US economy and markets.

Chief International Finance Correspondent Henny Sender says managers of sovereign funds and public pension funds fear being politicized if they are enrolled in the fight against Covid-19. They fear that politicians will put pressure on them to provide direct financial support to their economies by supporting weak companies.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the $ 20 billion market to US government debt, or the alarm sparked by its crisis period in March, write US markets reporter Colby Smith and global finance correspondent Robin Wigglesworth in our Great read. The authorities are considering how to prevent similar problems in the future.

Signs of tension emerge in the world's largest government bond market


The second quarter earnings season clearly highlights the winners and losers. General Motors reported a loss for the second quarter thanks to the drop car request, in particular in its US domestic market, while Boeing said it would increase production and job cuts thanks to the pandemic-induced collapse in flight. On the other hand, the income of Shopify, the largest e-commerce platform in the United States after Amazon, soared 97%, causing a surge in its shares.

Nursing homes in England and their residents were ‘thrown to the wolves’ during the pandemic, according to a report by a parliamentary committee. The lack of central control was a key issue, with a response hampered by a patchwork of responsibilities involving central and local government and private and nonprofit providers.

Amazon said he would offer for free grocery deliveries to its UK Prime members by the end of the year, posing a serious challenge to the established services of Tesco, J Sainsbury and Ocado. An analyst said the company was “pushing the nuclear button.” “This is one of the boldest actions they’ve ever taken. . . the Covid pandemic has given them the opportunity to tighten their grip on e-commerce. They use the frequency aspect of food to draw people into their ecosystem. “

Mondial economy

American Republicans yesterday unveiled their $ 1 billion in stimulus proposals, which included the cut unemployment benefits two-thirds, but all eyes are now on the future US Federal Reserve policy announcement at 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 7:00 p.m. UK time, which you can follow on our live blog. Here is five things to watch out for.

Unemployment in the UK could reach 10% by the end of the year because the work stoppage regime ends too early, according to the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. The think tank predicts a 10% drop in UK output for 2020 with continued ‘scaring effects’ for the labor market. Extending the employment program until the middle of next year – at an estimated cost of £ 10 billion – would have been relatively inexpensive and limited the rise in unemployment, he said.

Consumer confidence in France fell on fears of job losses and the spread of the coronavirus as new data from Spain shown retail sales recovering slowly overall, but tourist destinations such as the Balearic Islands and the Canaries have been hit hard.

Line graph of the monthly French consumer confidence index (100 = long-term average) showing the decline in French consumer confidence

Readers respond

Jaga the Wise comments Coronavirus turns city into ghost town

Telecommuting can work for established employees like me, but what about new hires? Imagine joining a new workplace or a new team during this crisis? How do you get to know your coworkers?

We are social animals. We thrive in groups. This is where we find our best ideas. It is in this environment that we are most productive. Chat over coffee, jokes in the office, lunch with coworkers can seem like a waste of time, they aren’t. They are sources of ideas, a place to reduce stress, a social outlet.

Get in touch

How is your workplace dealing with the pandemic? And what do you think businesses and markets – and our daily lives – will look like after the lockdown? Please tell us by e-mail [email protected]. We can publish your contribution in a future newsletter. Thank you

The essentials

Experts have been baffled by how quickly the coronavirus has reappeared on the other side Europe now the closures have been relaxed and international travel has resumed. Spain is experiencing a new surge as Eastern Europe and the Balkans experience large numbers of cases for the first time. “We have let our guard down,” said the head of the German public health authority. the FT Editorial Board said the illusion of a return to “normalcy” had been shattered.

The resurgence of Covid-19 varies across Europe.  Seven-day moving average of new cases (per million population)

Heathrow Airport in London mentionned passenger test was urgently needed to help airlines recover from the damage caused by the pandemic. The current policy has let the UK “play a quarantine roulette game” that benefits its European rivals, he said. The travel industry calls for a rethink. Read our explanatory on the United Kingdom-Spain travel restrictions.

the video testimony wills will become legal in England and Wales in September to overcome registration difficulties last wishes while respecting the rules of social distancing.

Final thought

“Gatherings during a pandemic, especially when filled with hot and sweaty people on mind-blowing drugs, are obviously a bad idea. So why, despite 30 years of efforts by the authorities to eradicate them, have illegal open-air dance parties once again erupted? House and House Editor Helen Barrett reports on the return of the rave.

© Dave Swindells


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