Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Economics 11/8/10: Bank of Ireland H1 results

Bof I results for the H1 2010 did represent a significantly different picture from those reported by AIB, with one notable exception – both AIB and BofI are yet to catch up with reality curve on expected future impairments.

BofI profit before provisions was €553mln against €811mln in H1 2009. This, however, doesn’t mean much, as a score of one-off measures were included in H1 2010 figure:
  • Losses on sales of loans to NAMA’s were factored in at €466mln
  • Debt exchange added a positive of €699mln
  • Pension deal brought in a positive contribution of €676mln.
  • Net positive of the one-off measures was, therefore around €909mln implying that BofI really was running a loss €356mln before provisions and after one-offs are factored in.
Underlying loss before tax, net of charges, was €1.246bn or almost double the €668mln loss last year. The impairment charges amounted to €1.8bn in H1 2010, inclusive of €893mln non NAMA provisions. The impairment charge therefore almost doubled on €926mln in H1 2009.

Big ‘news’ today was that BofI continues to guide for €4.7bn in impairments charges for March 2009-2011. Given that the bank has taken €3.9bn of these provisions to date, it will have to deliver an €1.2bn gain on H1 2010 (roughly 1% of its loan book value) before March 2011 to stick with the impairments estimate. How much can BofI squeeze out of its customers remains uncertain, but to get to its target figures, the bank needs either a helping hand of Nama (on valuations for Tranche 3) or a dramatic reduction in cost of funding (unlikely) or a 30%+ increase in what it charges on loans (without any subsequent deterioration in their quality).

These are unlikely for the following reasons.

Impaired loans are up by a significant €2.1bn reaching 7.1% of the total loan book (these were 5.5% at the end-December 2009). Risk weighted assets stood at €93bn down on €98bn in December. And asset quality is still declining: impaired loans were €15.8bn of which €8.86bn were on non-NAMA book. This compares to €13.35bn in December of which €6.79bn related to non-NAMA book. Provisions were €6.64bn in June of which €3.725bn non-NAMA, implying 42% cover, down from 43% in December when provisions amounted to €5.8bn in total, with €3.0bn non-NAMA.

BofI maintains that bad debts peaked in H2 2009, showing a charge of 1.4% on gross loans in H1, compared with a charge of 2.9% in Q4 of last year.

This looks optimistic. BofI business side continues to suffer from income declines and costs overruns. Total income was down 8% yoy at €1.76bn. Cost cutting this year will have to come at a premium as BofI prepares to shed some 750 more jobs. Total staff numbers are down by 805 or 5% yoy so far in 2010.

BofI H1 2010 net interest margin was 130 bps down 40bps relative to H1 last year. Causes: higher deposit and funding costs, lower capital earnings and Government guarantee. Assets repricing helped by adding 19bps to the margin. Cost to income ratio increased to 61% relative to 54% a year ago, despite costs falling by 3% to €916mln. This means income is seriously under pressure. Impaired loans on residential lending book have increased by 58.5%.

One improved side – capital ratios came in at Core Equity Tier 1 of 8.2% up on 5.3% in December and ahead of 7% regulatory target, but still low relative to European and US peers. Tier 1 ratio was 9.9% virtually unchanged on 9.8% in December.

BofI might be right in some of its rosy projections. You see, Nama has been rolling over for the bank so far. BofI originally guided Nama discount of €4.8bn on €12.2bn it planned to transfer to Nama, or 39% haircut. Nama obliged so far by shaving off 36% on the €1.9bn of loans transferred in Tranche 1 in April and then 35% on Tranche 2 transfer of €1.5bn in July. This was done despite the fact that impaired loans proportion continues to rise in the sub-portfolio of BofI loans destined for Nama.

And this rise is a serious one. At the end of June, 69% of the loans remaining in the Nama-bound portfolio were impaired, up on 54% in the overall Nama portfolio set aside in December 2009. So Tranche 1 transfer picked out better loans or the loans have deteriorated dramatically since Tranche 1 transfer or both. Either way, lower discount on Tranche 2 loans suggests a blatant subsidy from Nama.

Funding side remains under threat, though BofI put a brave face in stating that it raised €4.6bn in term funding so far (mostly in the beginning of the year before the proverbial sovereign debt sh***t hit the fan). The bank still has to raise €9.5bn more before the end of the year 2010. The balancesheet numbers as well as market conditions suggest that this might be tight.

Total loans held grew by €3bn in H1 2010 to €125bn driven by sterling appreciation. Meanwhile, deposits were down €1bn to €84bn, so bank’s loan-to-deposit ratio, ex-NAMA, rose to 143% from 141% in December 2009. Deposits decline was driven by ratings downgrade for S&P in January 2010 which shaved €3bn worth of value from the ratings-sensitive deposits.

This doesn't make BofI any more attractive to the lenders.

But the bank has done coupple of things right. BofI is gradually improving its funding outlook by extending funding maturity – up to 41% of wholesale funding being in excess of 12 months in H1 compared to 32% back in December 2009. And BofI has been reducing its reliance on wholesale funding – down €3bn in H1 to €58bn total. BofI still holds €41bn worth of contingent liquidity collateral, theoretically eligible for ECB borrowings.

The bank also has €8bn exposure to ECB – same as at the end of 2009. You can either read this as the brokers do, meaning that BofI still has massive reserve it can tap if it needs to go to ECB. Alternatively you can say that in the last 6 months, the bank did nothing to work itself off the reliance on ECB funding.

Finally, virtually all analysis (with exception of one brokerage – if I recall correctly it was NCB) overlooked the data released on the deposits breakdown. Per note, “deposits with a balance greater than €100,000 amounted to €50bn at end-June. …As it stands, the ELG guarantee will no longer cover corporate deposits greater than €100,000 with a maturity of less than three months — presumably a significant proportion of these balances — after September, with the ELG set to go completely at year-end. It seems certain to us that the ELG will have to be extended to shore up confidence and facilitate the as yet unfinished wholesale terming effort.”


Fungus the Photo! said...

Every kleptocracy needs banks even if they are hopelessly insolvent.

It is vital to keep the banks and to use them to take more and more taxpayer money. Those who fed the Irish love affair with "land" must be repaid else they will not allow the carousel to start up in time for insiders to make yet more money.

You know this too!

thomas said...

Economics 11/8/10: Bank of Ireland H1 results

Dr.constantin Gurdgiev, with his astute logical reasoning is able to convey to us mere mortals the hidden facts and figures of Bank of Ireland latest H1 results, and like Sherlock Homes his forensic analyzes tells a story but it’s not the same story the bank board is spreading around

Anonymous said...

I follow this blog because the information set out by Constantin puts a different interpretation on State/corporate interpretation of information.

BOI in fairness is in better shape than AIB.
But both banks are still in dire straits and NAMA is the only thing that has keep both entities alive.

Fungus the Photo! said...

NAMA is not the only thing keeping them "alive".

While the zombies walk they use up money!

Banks are no longer useful. New banks can be set up at any time, taking over from banks that can no longer lend. But they won't. NAMA prevents this. NAMA is a scourge on the recovery.