• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

RBS and Lloyds Group braced for further big losses

Taxpayer-backed lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group will reveal the impact of another year of scandal when they are expected to report further big losses this week.

Left reeling from Libor-rigging revelations and an ever increasing bill for mis-selling claims, results from RBS and Lloyds are likely to confirm a lengthy road to recovery ahead for the part-nationalised players.

Barclays has already set the scene with its results earlier this month detailing another £2.5 billion to cover the costs of mis-selling in 2012, which came on top of its £290 million settlement for Libor-fixing.

Fresh from agreeing its own settlement for the Libor scandal, RBS is the first to report annual figures next Thursday.

Bonuses are likely to be high on the agenda once more, with the bank set to confirm the size of the pool that will be shared among staff.

It has already announced around £300m will be taken from its staff bonus pot and clawed back from previous awards to help pay for its £391m in Libor fines. The remaining bonus haul is likely to be much less than the £785m paid out for 2011, which included £390m for investment banking staff.

Chief executive Stephen Hester said last year he would waive his annual bonus following the bank's IT meltdown, but he is in line for around £780,000 in shares next month as part of a reward scheme for his performance in 2010, which can be cashed in 12 months later.

Banking analyst Ian Gordon at Investec Securities is expecting compensation provisions for mis-selling to plunge RBS even deeper into the red with losses of £3.9bn in 2012 – far worse than the £766m loss reported for 2011.

There is also speculation that RBS has hit further troubles in trying to offload 316 branches to appease EU rules on state aid. Following the collapse of the sale to Santander, RBS is now said to be looking at selling a minority stake to private equity and institutional investors to kick-start the auction process.

Lloyds, which follows with its results on Friday, is also facing rumours over its branch sale amid doubts the deal with the Co-operative will succeed in time. Bonuses will also be in sharp focus for the group, which is 39% owned by the Government, after reports suggested chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio could be in line for as much as £4.m.

It is thought the bank may be seeking to defuse a looming row over pay by holding back the award until shares are above the average price paid by the state under the bank's 2008 bailout.

Most analysts are expecting pre-tax losses of £544m for 2012 after mis-selling charges, although Mr Gordon is pencilling in a £1.4bn loss.

He is expecting another £700m in PPI provisions in the fourth quarter alone, with around £200m for interest-rate swaps.

Mammoth energy firm profits will be in the spotlight again when British Gas parent Centrica unveils full-year figures, while ITV also reports in a busy week for corporate results.

Centrica will stoke public anger over energy firm profits on Wednesday when it reveals robust results following a hike in bills.

Last year's colder-than-normal weather is expected to provide a boost to the company, with the City predicting the group's British Gas residential arm will deliver profits of £598m, up from £544m in 2011.

Centrica will argue that its British Gas division profit margin has not increased despite cost cutting, remaining at 5%.

Most analysts are forecasting a 15% rise in operating profits to £2.77bn and the energy group is also expected to point out that its tax bill will rise from £891m to about £1.1bn.

ITV's Studios business, which makes ratings winners such as I'm A Celebrity and the latest historical drama Mr Selfridge, will help ITV report surging profits on Wednesday as its recovery plan remains firmly on track.

ITV has been enjoying a marked revival over the past two years, thanks to improvements in its production arm and a better outlook for advertising revenues.

The strategy helped the group deliver a 24% rise in profits to £398m in 2011 and analysts at Numis predict a further double-digit rise in profits for last year, pencilling in a 16% increase to £460m.

The latest figures are likely to fuel takeover rumours amid speculation private equity firms are circling the group.

The battle to secure the survival of loss-making Spanish airline Iberia will dominate results from British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines on Thursday.

The group, which has been battling Spanish unions as it attempts to cut costs and jobs, is expected to make an operating loss of €120m (£104m).

The figure, which excludes Iberia restructuring costs, compares with profits of €485m (£419m) a year earlier and comes as it also suffered from the impact of Superstorm Sandy, which grounded flights into and out of the US east coast.

Contextual targeting label: 
Finance

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

142682