Britain’s biggest banks will reveal annual figures this week after another eventful year for the sector, clouded once more by mis-selling scandals and controversy over past misdeeds.
The performance of state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland, due on Friday, will hinge on whether the lender is hit by a pending settlement with the US Department of Justice over claims it mis-sold risky mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.
Further provisions or a final settlement included in the results could push the bank to yet another annual loss, which would mark a full decade in the red.
Consensus figures point to a full year attributable loss of £592 million, with conduct and litigation costs expected to come in at £2.7 billion.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “RBS management have been careful to downplay the prospect that we could see the first annual profit in this particular decade, probably a wise course of action given the bank’s current woes.”
Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group reports its results on Wednesday when boss Antonio Horta-Osorio will also unveil his three-year strategic plan for the group.
Having steered the group back to private ownership last summer, nearly nine years after being bailed out at the height of the financial crisis, Mr Horta-Osorio is expected to unveil a mammoth investment programme to guide Lloyds through the next era.
Speculation is mounting that he will pledge around £2.6 billion of investment into new technology and infrastructure as Lloyds looks to position itself at the forefront of digital banking.
Barclays follows with its finals on Thursday as its battles its own legal drama after the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) cranked up the heat.
The SFO has charged Barclays Bank with unlawful financial assistance in connection with a $3 billion (£2.2bn) loan given to the state of Qatar.
The loan relates to a side deal linked to its emergency fundraising during the financial crisis in 2008.