Friday 28 April 2017

RBS Reports First Quarter Profits Almost Two Years


The taxpayer-owned lender booked a £259m profit in the first three months of the year, compared with a £968m loss in the same quarter last year.

It is the first time since the third quarter of 2015 that RBS, which is 72% owned by the UK Government, has turned a quarterly profit.

The numbers will come as welcome relief to chief executive Ross McEwan, who has presided over a string of recent poor results which tally up to a staggering £58bn of losses since RBS was bailed out by the government at the height of the financial crisis.

He said: "These results reflect very much what we talked about at full year.

"This bank has a very strong core with great potential and we believe that, by going further on cost reduction and faster on digital transformation, we will deliver a simpler, safer and even more customer-focused bank, with a compelling investment case."

The core bank's adjusted operating profit also rose in the quarter, from £303m to £1.3bn.

Friday's figures also show RBS booked £577m in restructuring costs.

In February, RBS reported a £7bn annual loss and Mr McEwan ordered a £2bn four-year cost-cutting drive, expected to result in significant job losses and branch closures.

To this end, the bank took £278m in costs out of the business in the period.

Last week, Chancellor Philip Hammond admitted the government is prepared to sell its stake at a loss to the public purse.



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