Banks start to up their game on the virtual AGM circuit

by Myron Jobson from interactive investor |

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Lloyds and NatWest are holding virtual shareholder engagement events before their AGMs.

With company AGMs behind closed doors for the second year in a row, in normal times Lloyds (LSE:LLOY) and NatWest (LSE:NWG), would have been among the best attended on the circuit.

Several FTSE 100 companies have set dates for their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) over the past week or so, giving shareholders the chance to plan how they will vote or engage.

The Lloyds AGM is due to be held at the company's Edinburgh offices on 20 May, but, with Covid-19 restrictions still in place, for the first time the company is also holding a virtual shareholder engagement event the week before. NatWest is doing the same a week before its AGM on 28 April.

Lee Wild, Head of Equity Strategy, interactive investor says: “These might seem like small steps, but after a year in which retail investors were locked out of shareholder meetings, Lloyds and Natwest shareholders can now access the same information as institutions before they decide how to vote, and before getting their proxy votes in ahead of the AGMs a week later.

“If you want to put management through their paces, you can prepare by reading the annual reports - Lloyds has been on its website since 12 March and has details of the remuneration package for outgoing CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio (as well as the arrangements for new boss Charlie Nunn, who comes on board in August).”

How to vote

interactive investor is running an ongoing campaign to encourage shareholder engagement.

While there is a very long way to go, interactive investor customers are among the most engaged in the country. They can participate in shareholder votes via their interactive investor accounts.

How interactive investor customers can vote

Customers can switch on the voting service by going into the ‘Personal details & preferences’ section of their account. For those who have switched on the ii voting service, there is a Voting Mailbox in their online account (under ‘account’ at the top-right of the page). Here they will receive notifications for all the UK-listed companies they own shares in. Where available, they will see links to view an event or place a vote.

The other AGM dates announced in recent days by FTSE 100 companies are Aviva (LSE:AV.) (6 May), Admiral (LSE:ADM) (30 April), Pearson (LSE:PSON) (30 April), HSBC (LSE:HSBA) (28 May) and Unilever (LSE:ULVR) (5 May). In the FTSE 250, those announced this week include ITV (LSE:ITV) (29 April), Travis Perkins (LSE:TPK) (27 April), Plus500 (LSE:PLUS) (4 May).

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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