July 25, 2016 / 8:22 AM / 3 years ago

Lending, margins in focus on UK banks' second-quarter report cards: Goldman

A hot air balloon rises into the early morning sky in front of the Canary Wharf financial district of London, July 25, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

LONDON (Reuters) - Loan growth, margin squeezes and credit costs are the areas investors will focus on when British banks report quarterly earnings, Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.

Barclays PLC (BARC.L) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) are scheduled to report this week and emerging markets-focused HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L) next week.

While second quarter results are unlikely to capture any impact from the outcome of last month’s Brexit referendum, all eyes are on the outlook as banks prepare for slower economic growth and a possible UK recession.

Banking shares are among the worst performers among UK bluechips in the month since the referendum result. Both RBS and Lloyds have lost more than a quarter of their value since then.

Goldman expects banks will cut forecasts for loan growth with Lloyds and RBS likely to be hit the most by slower mortgage lending. An expected rate cut from the Bank of England next month would add additional pressure on margins for some banks especially if inflation ticks higher.

The U.S. bank’s top picks in the sector are Standard Chartered for its non-UK exposure and RBS on the back of valuation and stronger capital position.

Reporting by Vikram Subhedar; editing by John Stonestreet

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