RBS doubles profit in first quarter

RBS operating profit hit £1.5 billion, up from £747 million the year before

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The Independent Online

Royal Bank of Scotland has more than doubled its profit in the first quarter as the state-backed bank posted a rare quarterly profit.

The bank benefited from improved cost control and a reduction in impairment costs as it reported an attributable profit of £1.2 billion, only the sixth time it has reported a quarterly profit since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

RBS reported operating profit was £1.5 billion, up from £747 million the year before. Pre-tax profit was £1.6 billion, compared with £826 million in the same period the previous year.

The bank posted an £8.2 billion pound pre-tax loss in 2013 due to restructuring costs and misconduct charges, taking the total it has lost since the bailout to £46 billion.

The update beat analysts’ forecasts. The part-nationalised bank is 81 per cent-owned by the government and was rescued by government in 2008.

Chief executive Ross McEwan said: “Today’s results show that in steady state, RBS will be a bank that does a great job for customers while delivering good returns for our shareholders.

“But we still have a lot of work to do and plenty of issues from the past to reckon with. Everyone at RBS is focused squarely on doing everything we can to earn the trust of our customers and in the process change the banking sector for the benefit of the UK.”