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Re-writing history

25 November 2010 By George Hay

The UK bank’s outgoing boss thinks the government should not unwind the crisis merger brokered by the previous administration. Reviving HBOS’s twitching corpse may not be possible or desirable. But shrinking the bank’s market share is still necessary to improve competition.

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Slim pickings

4 November 2009 By George Hay

Shareholders in the UK s two bailedout banks haven t been wiped out. But their returns are being savaged by forced disposals plus mammoth, expensive and dilutive capital increases. Lloyds will recover faster. But even by 2012, RBS may be earning barely a few pence a share.

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Light at the end of the tunnel

3 November 2008 By George Hay

The UK government still won t let the bank pay a dividend before repaying £4bn of preference shares. But the redemption premium on the prefs has been set low, so the bank could get dividends back by the end of 2009. That might ease the pain of £10bn of HBOS writedowns.

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Troublingly Subsidised Bailout

17 September 2008 By George Hay

Together, the banks would hold a third of the current account and mortgage markets. The UK government may feel this should be allowed to grease a privatesector solution for HBOS s problems. But it would still be a damaging bailout for shareholders, at the expense of the public.

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