British Banks Begin to Profit Once Again

A member of the international financial community, Cecilia Ibru formerly headed Oceanic Bank International in Nigeria. Cecilia Ibru has also played a role in several other industry organizations, including the Nigeria Inter-Bank Switch System, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, and the Nigeria International Finance Corporation.

In a performance report released in early August, international auditing firm KPMG announced that the United Kingdom’s five major banks recorded profits during the first six months of 2013. This is the first time that Standard Chartered, RBS, Lloyds, HSBC, and Barclays have reported profits since 2010. According to KPMG, the banks’ combined profits soared to £16.5 billion and overall lending rose during the first half of the year, with customer deposits increasing by six percent to £135 billion.

Despite these developments, however, KPMG noted that return on equity remains quite low and that banks must learn to operate in a post-crisis world. This involves not only navigating new, and sometimes stifling, government regulations, but also preparing for cyber-attacks. KPMG’s performance report highlighted the dangers of politically or ideologically motivated “hacktivists,” noting that banks in the UK experienced an unprecedented surge in online account fraud just last year.