Whilst the investing public's views on banks are often not favorable ones, there has always been a metaphorical tug of war between sensibility and matter of principle when it comes to shares in major retail banks.
A quick look at TrustPilot, or on internet forums will show a plethora of vitriol aimed at almost all of the Tier 1 High Street banks in Britain, with Lloyds Banking Group, the only major British bank that solely operates a retail banking operation and does not get involved in investment banking at all, being one of the most pilloried of all of them.
Despite the online bickering from customers, and the bank's chequered recent history involving customers having not been able to access online accounts two weeks ago, and an outspoken insider having said that the bank's IT systems are 'not fit for purpose', whatever that extremely over-used, generic phrase is supposed to mean.
Despite the nit-picking, Lloyds Banking Group is on a roll. As the markets closed at the end of last week, its share prices had shot up to a 1-year high.
At the end of the London trading session on Friday, January 7, Lloyds Banking Group shares were at a lofty 52.5p per share, which is a 7.06% increase on the 5-day moving average. Compared to this time last year, when the banks were beginning to call in the loans they had given to all manner of businesses and individuals without any chance of being paid back, confidence is up significantly.
Importantly, Lloyds Bank stock is up a tremendous 45.68% compared to this time last year, and it is very rare indeed that a long-established financial institution such as Lloyds Bank would have that much of a fluctuation. Even a movement of over 7% in a week is a lot.
Perhaps one interesting aspect that could have been responsible for building confidence is Lloyds Banking Group's investment in a banking loyalty app called Bink last week.
Previously, investors would likely have had their confidence knocked by these negative influences such as the aforementioned outspoken senior IT manager, or the prospect of exposure to non-repayable Bounce Back Loans, the proceeds of which have long been spent and Limited Companies they were granted to closed down with no recourse for the bank.
Therefore, when Lloyds Banking Group decided to actually invest in something which alludes to the future, it shows that it as a company has a modern future and understands the needs of its client base and has the money and vision to see ahead rather than just lick its wounds.
Bink is an ultra-modern app which has attracted the support of many prominent retail partners, including Harvey Nichols, Iceland and the Japanese food chain Wasabi, since its launch and has also benefited from an investment from Barclays Bank worth £10 million.
Demonstrating that banks are not out of touch with modernity appears to be critical to their success right now, and Lloyds Bank's shareholders' confidence certainly backs that up.