- FTSE 100 down 20 points as ninth annual loss reported by RBS
- £7bn loss in 2016 for part-taxpayer owned bank sends shares down 2%
- Standard Chartered posts second consecutive annual loss and shares sink 4%
- British Airways owner IAG tops Footsie leaderboard with 32% profit boost
London markets face a key session that includes RBS and Standard Chartered results, capping off a vital week for banks before the signing of Article 50.
Here This is Money blogs the analysis, reaction and charts from the experts and our own journalists through the day.
Brokers digest key results from RBS and Standard Chartered this morning, in what has been a important week for the banks against the backdrop of Brexit
Pearson has reported a pre-tax loss of £2.6billion for 2016, the biggest in its history, after a slump at its US education operation.
But shares have risen 4 per cent at 673.4p after revenues came in better expected. Shares are still down 20 per cent for the year so far though.
The firm’s 2017 guidance is for operating profit of £570million to £630million, down from £720million back in 2014.
Chief executive John Fallon said: ‘2016 was a challenging year for Pearson, but we remain the global leader in education, with a strong market position.
‘Our priorities for 2017 are clear. We will continue to accelerate our digital transformation, simplify our portfolio, control our costs.’
Another tough day at the office for Pearson chief executive John Fallon, but the company’s shares have risen this session
British Airways owner IAG has shot to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after the airline posted a 32 per cent increase in profits to €2.5billion, despite a fall in sales.
IAG also increased its dividend by 18 per cent and the group announced a €500million share buyback programme to be carried out this year.
Chief executive Willie Walsh said: ‘For the full year, it was a good performance in a challenging environment.’
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways, was upbeat about the airline’s performance
Asia focused Standard Chartered has posted its second consecutive annual loss and its shares have sunk 4 per cent so far this session.
Standard Chartered was hit by a fall in revenues from $15.4billion to $13.8billion.
Chief executive Bill Winters said that while the bank made good progress in 2016, ‘our financial returns are not yet where they need to be and do not reflect the group’s earnings potential.
‘Having worked hard to secure our foundations we are now focused on realising that potential.’
Like RBS, Asia focused Standard Chartered failed to impress investors this morning
The ongoing legacy issues at the bank, in particular the billions put aside for litigation, have been a particular concern for analysts.
Richard Wilson, head of research at Wilson King Investment Management, said: ‘The eye-watering costs associated with the bank’s ongoing litigation and conduct fines are the main culprit for the performance, whilst the uncertainty around the Williams & Glyn business as well as the need for a radical change to the middle and back office restructure are further challenges.
‘Meanwhile, the long and winding road towards the resumption of the dividend is still some way off and the Government stake continues to cast a long shadow.’
He added: ‘This is quite apart from the wider challenges facing the sector, such as the historically low interest rate environment, the post-Brexit uncertainty of the UK economy and the ever increasing regulatory burden.’
Welcome to live coverage of London and global markets.
Early on the FTSE 100 has lost 20 points following a ninth annual loss for tax payer owned Royal Bank of Scotland.
The extent of the losses sent shares in the bank down 2 per cent and the results mean RBS has racked up more than £50billion of losses since its £45.5billion taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis.
RBS has posted a £7billion annual loss as past problems continue to dog its performance