UK banks are lagging behind their European rivals in their recovery since the financial crisis, and are not expected to close the gap for years — if at all — despite their efforts to cut costs and restructure. Analysis by the Financial Times found that annual profits at the UK’s five biggest banks were still running 63 per cent below their 2007 high in 2015, while profits at their European competitors were 34 per cent away from 2007’s levels. The figures illustrate the lasting toll that the financial crisis has taken on the UK banking industry, which has been forced to shrink and restructure in the aftermath of the global crash. British banks have also had to make £31bn of provisions for mis-selling payment protection insurance. With interest rates at record lows, volatile markets and weak global growth, top European and UK banks are expected to announce significant falls in first-quarter earnings when reporting season begins this week, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.