Research

Earnings are likely to benefit from rising interest rates

By James Langton |

Twelve global trading and universals banks will continue to face pressure on their profits in the year ahead, says Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Among other things, the report says that the banks' profits will likely be affected by subdued volatility, which is dampening sales and trading income.

Still, the banks' strong capital positions mean that they are well positioned to weather continued earnings pressure, the report says, and solid economic growth in developed markets underpins a stable outlook for the sector.

Earnings for the U.S.-based global banks are likely to benefit from rising interest rates, the report says, although this may be offset by a rise in loan loss provisions. Similarly, higher rates in the United Kingdom are also expected to support the London-based banks. European asset quality will be supported by sound economic growth, the report adds.

Fitch's rating outlook is stable for all of the big, global banks. "Any material increase in risk appetite or reduction in capital from share buy-backs or increased dividend pay-outs, which could arise from looser regulation, would put pressure on ratings," Fitch says in a statement.