Bottom Line: Don’t expect glorious returns buying TSB

Tim Wallace
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NO BANK wants to be exciting or glamorous any more – and particularly not one that needs to attract new investors.

TSB is highlighting its long history as a 200 year old bank with roots in local savings. Its goals sound more like those of a very sober and old fashioned building society than those of a major new challenger that is meant to shake up the banking sector.

Thanks to a large financial commitment from Lloyds, the new TSB does indeed look boring.

It has a strong capital position and none of the scandals hitting other banks will hurt it – Lloyds is covering all of those costs. That support should set it up for a strong flotation.

The only problem with starting in peak condition is that it is hard to imagine the bank getting any stronger. If all goes to plan it will grow as the economy recovers and as it makes the most of its big branch footprint.

But it seems unlikely to exceed those expectations, and could disappoint a touch as the market becomes more competitive.

This is not a damning verdict – TSB is in an enviable position as a strong bank with good growth potential. Just don’t expect stellar returns any time soon.

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