HSBC aims to leave mistakes in the past

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Today’s annual results from HSBC may be overshadowed by a row over its bonus plans for chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who last year had to apologise for the bank’s “mistakes of the past” when it agreed a $1.9 billion (£1.2bn) settlement with US authorities over money laundering.

A US Senate report in July criticised the group for allowing rogue states and drugs cartels to launder billions of pounds through its US arm and the findings led to the resignation of its head of compliance, David Bagley.

The City expects the group to unveil an 8.7 per cent rise in profits to $23.8bn, while Gulliver is rumoured to be in line for a multi-million pound bonus.

In another big week for the financial services sector,
results are also due from Admiral, Aviva and Legal & General delivering results.

Admiral, the UK’s second-largest car insurer, is forecast to announce an 11 per cent rise in profits to £331.2m after the owner of Bell, Elephant and comparison website Confused.com resisted being dragged into a price war in a bid to protect its margins.

Analysts expect Aviva to reveal a 13 per cent drop in operating profits to £2bn on Thursday when new chief executive Mark Wilson delivers his first set of full-year results. Aviva’s dividend will also be in the spotlight, after rival RSA slashed a third off its payment.

The launch of auto-enrolment pension schemes for large companies is expected to have provided a boost to Legal & General when it reports full-year figures on Wednesday.

The life and pensions group enjoyed a bumper third quarter, as new business soared 28 per cent to £533m, and analysts at Barclays are looking for a strong rise in its full-year dividend.

Cineworld will report a hike in profits on Thursday as the success of James Bond blockbuster Skyfall ensured a strong finish to 2012.

Analysts at Investec expect pre-tax profits to jump 9 per cent to £39.5m as the fictional spy helped it shrug off a summer sales decline as film fans stayed at home to enjoy one-offs such as the Jubilee, Euro 2012 and London Olympics.

The cinema operator – which last year paid £47.3m for the art-house chain
Picturehouse – has already reported that sales were up 2.4 per cent in the year to 27 December.