BRITAIN&rsquo;S biggest banks will this week herald a return to the gilded banking days of old as they post bumper interim profits, despite the impact of their mounting bad debts.<br /><br />Barclays is this morning expected to reveal a first-half pre-tax profit of &pound;3.5bn, boosted by a stellar performance in its investment banking division, Barclays Capital, which acquired Lehman Brothers&rsquo; US operations last year. If the figures are as strong as expected, the bank may earmark a remuneration pot of &pound;5bn for the first half, equivalent to a bonus package of around &pound;250,000 per employee.<br /><br />The week&rsquo;s banking bonanza will also see strong half-year figures from HSBC, reporting today alongside Barclays, and from Standard Chartered tomorrow, which is expected to match last year&rsquo;s results with a $2.5bn (&pound;1.49bn) interim profit. <br /><br />HSBC will post a $4.9bn profit, according to a Reuters poll of analysts, though some experts have forecast a small loss, allowing for a multi-billion dollar accounting hitch relating to the bank&rsquo;s record &pound;12.9bn rights issue back in March.<br /><br />But the good cheer will be dampened by the impact of a dire performance from Lloyds Banking Group on Wednesday, as well as an estimated &pound;700m loss at state-owned Northern Rock and increasing levels of bad debt on the sector&rsquo;s balance sheets.<br /><br />Analysts predict that Lloyds will report a &pound;5.1bn first half loss after its disastrous takeover of HBOS, as well as up to &pound;13bn of bad debt charges.<br /><br />RBS, which is 70 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is on Friday expected to report profits of &pound;1.2bn, driven by strong growth in its global banking and markets arm. Chief executive Stephen Hester will also update the market on the asset disposal programme announced in February. <br /><br />RBS could see its impairment charge reach almost &pound;8bn, while writedowns at HSBC could top $10bn. Barclays also expects its loan loss rate to increase further across all business lines over the remainder of the year.<br /><br />&ldquo;Although we expect first half results to be strong, we believe they will be driven largely by one-offs,&rdquo; Panmure Gordon analyst Sandy Chen said in a recent sector note. &ldquo;In line with our assumption that unemployment will increase significantly further&hellip;we also expect that impairment charges will continue to rise for all UK banks.&rdquo;