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Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

Humpty
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Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#355795

Postby Humpty » November 12th, 2020, 10:55 am

Hi

What are peoples views on when (if at all) to switch out of fixed income banks securities and into bank ordinary shares.

Is the time ripe to take advantage of potential increase returns from ords over fixed income:

- bank equities potentially under valued
- re-instatement of bank divs
- inflationary outlook: will it increase in the next 12-24 months, potentially adversly affecting FI prices

or stay in FI:
- Bank income and bad debts will supress ords
- inflation to stay low for medium term +24m months
- Divs on bank ords to be relativly low
- Impact from BREXIT
- Covid
- Tax rises

thanks

johnhemming
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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#355798

Postby johnhemming » November 12th, 2020, 11:02 am

I switched a while ago before Covid once prefs had got back to normalish levels. Brexit and covid have held this back. Today's news on GDP is helpful and even if the vaccine is useless seasonal infection have now peaked for this winter. There looks to be a lot of cash around so bad debts that are not underwritten by the government should be as low as estimated by the banks.

88V8
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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356094

Postby 88V8 » November 13th, 2020, 9:46 am

As a pure income investor I like the certainty of Prefs, all of which have continued paying through the panpanic.
However, when they cease to count towards bank regulatory capital - 2026 - bank Prefs will become a threatened species. Will banks retire them in an orderly fashion and offer a switch into some other form of FI... or seek to withdraw them at par, in which case there will be a price collapse.
I am overweigh bank Prefs so I really need to make some sort of decision, but .....

There are of course other options in the Prefs line - BWRA, BP.A etc most of which I hold, and there have been discussions of the many Canadian Prefs offerings which I have yet to pursue.

As to bank ords, for me they have no particular attraction as compared to other divi ords. I hold some but will not be loading up to any special degree.
For me, like the utilities, banks are now overly subject to Govt interference and if another Labour Govt looks likely, I shall be out.

Reverting to FI, as a means of passing the decision buck, Shires Income Trust SHRS holds a good deal of FI and currently yields about 6%.

V8

johnhemming
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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356099

Postby johnhemming » November 13th, 2020, 10:03 am

Its a good issue to raise with the FCA. Logically withdrawal at par would be thought to not be appropriate. Hence they may need to offer improved terms as did Lloyds some time ago.

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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356112

Postby GoSeigen » November 13th, 2020, 10:38 am

johnhemming wrote:Its a good issue to raise with the FCA. Logically withdrawal at par would be thought to not be appropriate. Hence they may need to offer improved terms as did Lloyds some time ago.


Sorry none of this means anything to me. Could you be a bit clearer please, especially about the Lloyds preference share offer you are referring to.


GS

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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356117

Postby johnhemming » November 13th, 2020, 10:47 am

Without looking it up Lloyds did a generalised offer of a swap for non compliant preference shares with an increased interest rate in perhaps 2011 or 2012. These did have terms in them which allowed a call which there was a saga about in maybe 2018 or so. However, that was how they got over the old problem with things like LLP*

It would be good to pre-emptively raise the question with the FCA in good time to give them a chance of coming to a view and expressing it.

I may write a letter.

It might be worth opening up another thread about this. I wonder if Mark Taber is into these issues still. I think his websites went down. I have just looked him up and he has a linked in account, but it seems pretty dormant.

Laughton
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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356228

Postby Laughton » November 13th, 2020, 2:44 pm

He's on Twitter (I'm not, so can't ask him) - https://twitter.com/MarkTaber_FII

GoSeigen
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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356235

Postby GoSeigen » November 13th, 2020, 2:53 pm

It's worth noting that Mark didn't concern himself with the legal situation of the prefs (and quite openly admitted that). He was driven by the optics of the Aviva situation and protecting his usual constituency. As surely no-one can be ignorant of this particular wrinkle I can't see that he'd want to get himself involved.

Frankly, if investors here are buying these preference shares despite what they know in the expectation that Mark or someone else will bail them out when the risk materialises they should be ashamed of themselves.


GS

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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356458

Postby everhopeful » November 14th, 2020, 11:53 am

When you say "these prefs" GS are you referring only to Lloyds? I have significant amounts in NWBD and ELLA and remember the discussions on the Fixed Income website which suggested that these prefs were relatively safe from cancellation at par by virtue of the need to have a vote of the pref holders (NWBD) or by virtue of statements by the Board (ELLA). Do you think this is still the case.

GoSeigen
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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356519

Postby GoSeigen » November 14th, 2020, 3:11 pm

everhopeful wrote:When you say "these prefs" GS are you referring only to Lloyds? I have significant amounts in NWBD and ELLA and remember the discussions on the Fixed Income website which suggested that these prefs were relatively safe from cancellation at par by virtue of the need to have a vote of the pref holders (NWBD) or by virtue of statements by the Board (ELLA). Do you think this is still the case.


I was referring to any preference shares investors are buying where there is no protection but they think someone will come to their rescue (as "vulnerable pensioners" or "retail investors") if they become the target of a capital reduction.

Personally I don't rate the likelihood of capital reductions of bank preference shares very highly; at the same time I recognise preference shares are not bonds and carry significant extra risk for a variety of reasons. Their price must be low enough to mitigate those risks else I am not interested. I remember selling Lloyds ECNs after the bondholder court win for 127p thinking that even with yield available the risk of imminent loss of 20% of my capital did not justify holding them. It was a relief not to be one of the holders when the bad thing happened.

NWBD are solid I believe. I happily hold a few even at current prices. The ELLA board (perhaps foolishly) bound themselves with their announcement; in the end though the shareholders call the shots so I'd not want to go too mad. It's a general fact that banks will have large amounts of excess capital to return over coming years. In that environment preference shares are an annoyance to ordinary shareholders, eating up the first share of profits and not really contributing to the capital structure. Some preference shares as you say are protected from capital reduction by their terms. I'd favour those over the others in the absence of a healthy premium.

GS

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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356574

Postby johnhemming » November 14th, 2020, 5:58 pm

GoSeigen wrote:The ELLA board (perhaps foolishly) bound themselves with their announcement; in the end though the shareholders call the shots so I'd not want to go too mad.

There is a markets protection here where if Shareholders lose out by relying on the board statement they can sue for damages. That is normally sufficient.

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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356583

Postby RockRabbit » November 14th, 2020, 6:19 pm

GoSeigen wrote:The ELLA board (perhaps foolishly) bound themselves with their announcement; in the end though the shareholders call the shots so I'd not want to go too mad.
GS


But who are the shareholders for ELLA? My understanding is that ELLA is ultimately owned by a charitable trust so perhaps a rather different 'setup' to your usual finance company.

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Re: Switch from Bank Pref to Equity

#356624

Postby johnhemming » November 14th, 2020, 8:12 pm

I have just checked the short list and Lloyds has been closed out. Barclays and Natwest were not there previously (about a month ago)


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