Royal Bank of Scotland enjoys rise in quarterly profits but litigation costs hit first-half numbers

30th July 2015


Royal Bank of Scotland has reported a 27% rise in its second quarter profits helped partly by a strong performance across its personal and business banking divisions.

It said its mortgage business enjoyed a boost as borrowing applications jumped to £9.4bn over the quarter to the end of June during, during which time its net profit rose to £293m.

The still majority tax-payer owned bank however endured a loss of £153m for the first half.

Following the news, shares in the group jumped 6p or 2% to 359.2p in early trading. Litigation and conduct costs were lower too at £459m compared with £856m in the first quarter.

But restructuring costs rose to more than £1b, from £453m in in the first quarter, as the pace of change accelerated.

Commenting on the market update, RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said: “I think these results show we are making really good progress. We set out a very clear plan for the bank.

“We are going further than I think a lot of people thought we would have done in this short period of time but we have got lots to do.”

RBS was one of six institutions fined a total of about £2.8bn for failing to stop traders manipulating currency markets. It has already paid out some £399m in fines to regulators over the forex scandal.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme McEwan said there is “a lot of noise” in regards to fines and possible lawsuits, but that underneath RBS is a very strong bank.

“These things are very distracting. So we need to face into these and put our energies into creating a better bank here in the UK.”

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