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British banks


Regulatory demands are depressing banking profitability in Britain



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HAVING successfully passed the European Banking Authorty’s stress tests on October 26th, several British banks announced their quarterly results this week. Their home country’s booming economy might have been expected to have produced large profits for them. But the picture was in fact much more mixed. Although the domestic market for financial services has perked up, they have been battered by a seemingly never-ending list of fines for bad behaviour. And new rules on leverage, announced by the Bank of England on October 31st, are likely to drag down shareholders’ returns even further.
On October 30th, Barclays unveiled earnings figures that beat analysts’ expectations. However, it was also forced to set aside ?500m ($800m) to cover costs that may arise from an ongoing investigation into alleged manipulation of …