Bad news expected from UK bank results this week

HSBC building at night

Another bumper week of UK banking earnings is expected to bring a fresh dose of bad news, with profits expected to slide at HSBC and a loss forecast at RBS.

Analysts have estimated banking giant HSBC, which will reveal earnings in the early hours of Wednesday morning, will report a fall in pre-tax earnings of 40 per cent for its second quarter of 2016, as squeezed revenues and restructuring costs take their toll.

Meanwhile, RBS, which is reporting on Friday, is expected to reveal it is in the red, reporting a loss attributable to shareholders of £247m for its second quarter.

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However, some may be more concerned as to whether the taxpayer-backed bank mentions its sale of spin-off Williams & Glyn. As part of RBS' £45bn state bailout deal, the bank was told to sell off Williams & Glyn by the end of 2017, but RBS warned back in April there was the very real risk it would not be able to make the deadline.

Both HSBC and RBS were covered by the European banking stress test results released late on Friday. HSBC performed relatively well, with its capital buffer dropping to 8.8 per cent in the most adverse scenario tested.

RBS, while still having an 8.1 per cent buffer at its disposal, was among the banks which saw its capital crumble the most in the adverse scenario.

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At least HSBC will find itself in good company if it does report a profits slump. On Friday, Barclays reported a 21 per cent drop in its pre-tax profits for its first half of 2016.

However, shares in Barclays still closed up 5.5 per cent at 154.55p – the highest riser in the FTSE 100 – as investors clocked the majority of the losses stemmed from the the bank's non-core activities, which group chief executive Jes Staley has vowed to shut down as quickly as possible.

Shareholders were less impressed with Lloyds when it reported its results last Thursday. The bank revealed it was slashing another 3,000 jobs and 200 branches, in addition to cuts of 9,000 jobs and 200 branches which had previously been announced, despite also announcing it had doubled its statutory profits.

Full story: Bad news expected from UK bank results this week: City A.M.

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