Thousands of Lloyds shareholders keep their fingers crossed for payment

Thousands of Lloyds Bank shareholders will keep their fingers crossed for news of a payout as the lender announces its half-year results

Thousands of Lloyds Bank shareholders will keep their fingers crossed for news of a payout as the lender releases its half-year figures next week.

Investors ran out of dividends last year after the Bank of England banned lenders from funneling money as it urged them to save money to help cope with the pandemic.

But those restrictions were completely relaxed this month — just in time for Britain’s major banks to release their semi-annual reports.

The results of Lloyds, Barclays and Natwest will be eye-catching shortly after the central bank’s decision to remove remaining ‘guardrails’ on shareholder payouts.

While it’s unclear whether UK players will return to big dividends anytime soon, their US counterparts have recently dished out significant shareholder returns, sparking investor hopes.

And Lloyds raked in huge profits in the first quarter of this year as it was able to release £323 million of the money it set aside last year to cover potential pandemic losses.

But Danni Hewson, a financial analyst at AJ Bell, said banks could be cautious about following Wall Street with “superb” returns.

She said: “Some safeguards are in place to ensure banks still have extra capital just in case, and so as not to unnerve regulators, the industry may be wary of going too far and too fast with capital returns. ‘

Virgin Money will be the first to leave the stables next week, followed by half-year figures from Barclays, Santander and Metro Bank, then Lloyds Banking Group and Natwest Group.

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