Banks in the spotlight as Lloyds, RBS and Barclays update city

Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank

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The contrasting fortunes of taxpayer-backed lenders Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will return to the fore next week when the pair post quarterly figures, while Barclays also reports following recent scandals.

Lloyds will post its figures on Thursday as it edges ever closer to being fully returned to private hands, with the Government stake being cut to below 2 per cent earlier this month and the City expecting the holding to be sold off in its entirety by June.

Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland

The lender enjoyed a robust 2016, posting its highest annual profits for a decade, with bottom-line profits more than doubling to £4.24bn from £1.64bn in 2015.

But the vast improvement is largely due to the absence of last year’s hefty £790m charge from its controversial move to buy back expensive bonds from investors.

Part-nationalised rival RBS follows with its results on Friday, in the wake of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s stark admission that the Government is prepared to sell its stake at a loss to the public purse.

The Government bought its 72 per cent stake in the bank for £45bn in 2008, at £5.02 a share, at the height of the financial crisis.

Those shares are now trading at less than half that price.

Barclays also updates on first quarter trading on Friday, with its figures coming after it was announced the group’s chief executive Jes Staley is to be probed over governance failings that saw him attempt to identify a whistleblower.

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