Janus Henderson's Foll: Why we are overweight banks for first time in years

Performance buoyed by dividend suspensions

Lauren Mason
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Laura Foll of Janus Henderson Investors
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Laura Foll of Janus Henderson Investors

All three of Laura Foll and James Henderson's UK equity investment trusts – Law Debenture, Henderson Opportunities Trust and Lowland – moved to an overweight in incumbent banks for the first time in as long as Foll can remember last year, despite the fact all five firms suspended their dividends in 2020.

  Foll, who began co-managing mandates alongside Henderson in 2014, told Investment Week banks are now "in a very different position to what they were" during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008, and that their forced suspension of dividend payouts meant they were trading on particularly attractive valuations relative to history. "Banks went into this crisis with excess capital - particularly NatWest, which had a very high capital ratio," she explained. "It also meant they could be conservative with the [loan loss] provisioning they took last year. "If you pull up the e...

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