Royal Bank of Scotland doubles net profit in 2018

The logo of the Royal Bank of Scotland is seen at an office in London February 6, 2013. — Reuters pic
The logo of the Royal Bank of Scotland is seen at an office in London February 6, 2013. — Reuters pic

LONDON, Feb 15 — State-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland more than doubled net profits in 2018, the lender announced today as it extends its recovery following a decade of turmoil.

RBS said in a statement that profit after tax jumped to £1.62 billion (RM8.5 billion) last year.

That compared with £752 million in 2017, which had been the Edinburgh-based lender’s first annual net profit following the global financial crisis.

RBS, saved at the height of the crisis in 2008 by the UK government in the world’s biggest bailout, built on its recovery last year thanks to lower costs and an improved trading performance, its earnings statement showed.

“2018 was a year of strong progress on our strategy — we settled our remaining major legacy issues, paid our first dividend in ten years and delivered another full-year bottom line profit,” said chief executive Ross McEwan on Friday. 

“Our financial performance is good, given the uncertain economic outlook,” McEwan said while noting that “the UK economy faces a heightened level of uncertainty related to the ongoing Brexit negotiations”.

In October, RBS said it had set aside an additional £100 million to cover bad loans, “reflecting the more uncertain economic outlook” that analysts said referred to Britain’s looming exit from the European Union.

The bank, like many businesses, is planning for the worst amid increasing worries that Britain will crash out of the EU on March 29 without a deal.

RBS remains majority-owned by the British government after it was saved with £45.5 billion of taxpayers’ cash in 2008.

Britain in June resumed privatisation of the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Conservative government led by Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to sell two-thirds of its stake for roughly £15 billion over a five-year period—but at a big loss.

RBS has meanwhile previously been fined US$4.9 billion (RM20 billion) by the US Justice Department over its role in the subprime housing crisis that sparked the 2008 meltdown. — AFP

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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