UK banks are among a number of top European companies to massively underestimate their pension deficits, according to AlphaValue Research.
The firm says a number of top listed European companies have underestimated their scheme liabilities by as much as €300bn.
A number of household names were found to have the biggest shortfall in their funding, including British Airways, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline and BT.
However, all of the UK's big four banks, Lloyds, RBS, Barclays and HSBC, were also found to be on the list.
AlphaValue says Lloyds has underestimated its funding commitments by €1.4bn, while RBS could see a shortfall of €1.3bn.
It says although estimates of pension deficits for Europe's largest listed companies rose by 22% to €280bn, the additional €300bn unaccounted for is largely due to the use of high discount rates.
AlphaValue says the companies also underestimated wage inflation, while overestimating the discount rate. It said in 2008, the average wage inflation rate fell to 3.6% from 3.7%, and the average discount rate increased from 5.38% to 5.57%.
Pierre-Yves Gauthier, director at AlphaValue, says: "More than one-third of 2008 pensions obligations - some €1100bn - are recorded at UK companies, as this is where the largest companies operate with the largest defined benefit commitments."
He adds: "The bulk of the ‘non-accounted-for' pension deficit is also with UK corporates, especially the banks, as they use rather high discount rates compared with non-UK peers."
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