James Moore: Hats off to Santanderfor early results

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Santander also provides a separate set of numbers for the UK division (which might be floated off at some point). Not too shabby. The same can hardly be said of the numbers themselves. Profits were down 40 per cent. The main reason was the cost of compensating people mis-sold payment protection insurance when they took out loans.

But even without that, earnings would be down. It will be most interesting to see how executives who haven't already passed on bonuses justify them if this is reflected across the industry when the UK banks finally get around to reporting.