HSBC set to post rise in annual profits

HSBC set to post rise in annual profits

HSBC's annual profits are expected to bounce back from a 17% slump in 2014 when it announces its results on Monday.

Europe's largest bank - which this month revealed it would keep its headquarters in London - looks set to bolster annual pre-tax profits to $21.8bn, up from $18.6bn in 2014.

But analysts at UBS expect profits to come in slightly lower at $21.4bn.

They said the bank's ambition to hit future revenue targets would be boosted if the US Federal Reserve presses ahead with further interest rate rises.

HSBC surprised analysts in the third quarter when it posted pre-tax profits of $6.1bn for the three months to September, beating forecasts of $5.2bn.

The full-year results will come hot on the heels of a string of developments at the bank, including hints by chief executive Stuart Gulliver that he may step down in two years' time.

Mr Gulliver said he wanted to see through the bank's strategic plan announced in June, which is slated for completion at the end of next year. His comments came as HSBC broke its silence to reveal it would keep its headquarters in the UK following a lengthy high-profile review.

The decision to remain in London follows a series of concessions to the City by Chancellor George Osborne in recent months.

However, in a fresh twist, HSBC said it would move about 1,000 jobs from London to Paris in the event of Britain leaving the EU.

The banking sector will also come into sharp focus when Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland report their results next week.

Lloyds Banking Group is expected to reveal hefty mis-selling charges when it posts its annual results on Thursday.

Analysts predict the bank will stomach a £2bn charge for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling in the fourth quarter, followed by a £1.1bn hit for 2016/17.

Statutory profits before tax are expected to hit £1.24bn, according to analysts at Jefferies, with net interest income coming in at £11.5bn over the same period.

Lloyds announced a fourfold rise in annual profits to £1.8bn last year.

Meanwhile, RBS will post its eighth year of annual losses when it announces its full-year results on Friday.

The lender revealed last month that it would remain in the red after taking a £2.5bn hit including more mammoth charges for mis-selling scandals. Bosses at the bank said the latest ''clean-up'' charges would lead it to a loss for 2015.

The lender announced a deficit of £3.5 billion last year, although this is down on the £9bn reported a year earlier.

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