RBS returns to profit

Ross McEwan of RBS

RBS returns to profit

The bailed-out bank continues to recover after returning to profit for the first time in three years.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) reported its first profit in three years this morning after reporting pre-tax profits of £939m for the six months ended 30 June.

The bank recorded a £259m profit for the first quarter which was then followed by a remarkable £680m profit for the second quarter of the year.

RBS, which remains 72% owned by the British taxpayer, reported a loss of just over £2bn for the same period last year, showing solid signs that it is on the road to recovery.

CEO Ross McEwan said: "Our progress in the first half of the year means that today we can spend less time talking about the bank we were and more about the bank we are becoming.

“We have continued, at pace, to build a simpler, safer and even more customer-focused bank that has now delivered two consecutive quarters of bottom line profit – totalling £939m.

“We’re doing what we said we would at our full year results in February – growing income, reducing cost and improving returns for shareholders, while also starting to deliver a better service for customers.

“We see the first six months of this year as proof of the investment case for this bank: our path to sustainable profitability is becoming clearer and closer and we have resolved some of the most significant issues this bank faced."

RBS also outlined that it could move some staff to the Netherlands depending on how Brexit negotiations pan out as the bank requires an EU passport to continue operating its NatWest Markets business across the continent.