HBOS and Lloyds TSB tipped to deliver no nasty shocks to the City

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The Independent Online

British banks may provide some seasonal cheer after last week's better-than-expected numbers from Royal Bank of Scotland, with both HBOS and Lloyds TSB updating the market.

Lloyds TSB will issue its final results on Tuesday, and are analysts predicting that few gremlins will emerge. Unlike many of its counterparts', the bank's share price has held up reasonably well in 2007, closing on Friday at 488p. Nevertheless, the stock remains some way off its 52-week high of 622p.

Shares in HBOS, owner of the Halifax, have suffered a hard year, shedding around a third of their value to close at 814p last week. In August, chief executive Andy Hornby was forced to part with Benny Higgins, head of the retail division, who presided over a disastrous change in mortgage pricing that cost the Halifax half its market share.

The company's share price is expected to bounce back from its current level, with 13 out of 26 economists polled by Bloomberg slapping a "buy" on the stock.

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