Sunday, November 18, 2012

Heads Up: "British banks becoming uninvestable"--Association of British Insurers

The rule of thumb for pension and insurance portfolio managers is "the only quarter that matters is the quarter-century". That's me quoting myself but many others have had similar thoughts and when the insurers (or pension funds) can't take that view, something is very wrong.
From Trust Your Instincts:
The Telegraph reports that according to the Association of British Insurers British banks are becoming "uninvestable"

due to opaque accounts, regulatory upheaval and political interference.
Please re-read the highlighted text and note that the first and most important reason that the insurers are wary of investing in the banks is because of opaque accounts.

Opaque accounts that leave banks, in the words of the Bank of England's Andrew Haldane, resembling 'black boxes'.

Institutional investors know that buying securities of black boxes is simply gambling.

Investing requires transparency so that the investor can independently assess the risk of the bank prior to making an investment decision.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says institutions are reluctant to invest in high street banks because of increasing risks and shrinking returns. 
The trade group is preparing to deliver a hard-hitting report to theParliamentary Commission on Banking Standards on behalf of its members who control £1.5 trillion assets and are among the bank’s biggest investors.... 
The ABI added: “The prospects of sustainable economic recovery in the UK are to some extent dependent on banks being able to raise the funds necessary to finance the growth of small and medium-sized companies. From the perspective of institutional investors, it is essential that banks should be an investable proposition.”...