Bank earnings

UK bank earnings return: where now for BoE rates?

Q3 reports were largely strong for the UK banks as net interest margins rose with rate hikes. But how will Q4 compare?

  • Are interest rate hikes set to boost reports again?
  • Will bad loans and delinquencies hit results amid the cost-of-living squeeze?
  • Go long or short on the banking giants
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UK Bank Earnings Jan 2023 mobile

How will Q4 bank earnings match up with the last quarter?

Q4 bank earnings season is here, and the performance of UK heavyweights such as NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds will be under scrutiny.

The Bank of England's tight monetary policy in 2022 meant a series of interest rate hikes in response to ballooning inflation – but will the pace of hikes slow as recessionary conditions escalate?

While in theory higher rates can mean greater margins for banks by way of higher net interest income, it may also mean fewer mortgage originations and refinancing. Additionally, high rates can influence an uptick in bad loans and delinquencies.

Conversely, if the BoE puts a hold on further hikes, or switches to looser policy, the economy may receive a boost as access to cheaper loans can potentially bolster consumer spending. That said, such a policy might fail to address the current high level of inflation.

How do I trade earnings season?

To trade bank earnings, you can decide whether you think a bank's share price is going to move up or down when it releases its quarterly report – and open a position accordingly. Open a FOREX.com account to get started, or try a demo to trade risk-free.

Can I short bank stocks?

If you think a bank is going to miss estimates and fall in value, you can short it by selling its stock instead of buying it. With your FOREX.com account, you can select ‘sell’ instead of ‘buy’ in the platform.

Q4 earnings season

Q4 earnings season kicks off in earnest late February, with Barclays and Lloyds releasing their reports on 22 February and HSBC releasing theirs on 28 February.

Earnings release dates

22 February 2023
Barclays
22 February 2023
Lloyds
28 February 2023
HSBC Holdings Inc.

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