Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday reported an operating profit before tax of £1.8 billion for the first half of 2018, a figured that included an £801 million litigation and conduct charge.
RBS also announced its intention to declare an interim dividend of 2p per share — its first dividend in a decade.
A £241 million provision release relating to a RMBS litigation indemnity was also recognised in the quarter.
Attributable profit for the second quarter was £96 million, well above the £741 million loss expected by analysts.
First half profit attributable to ordinary shareholders was £888 million, down from £939 million in the same period last year.
Total income for the period fell £217 million, or 3.1%, to £6.7 billion.
Common equity tier 1 ratio, a measure of financial strength, was 16.1% — far greater than that required by regulators.
RBS shares rose more than 3% to around 258p to give the bank a current stock market value of around £32 billion, according to Reuters data.
The UK government still holds a 62.4% stake in RBS, which was acquired for the UK taxpayer via a £45.5 billion state bailout during the financial crisis.
RBS CEO Ross McEwan said: “We are pleased with the progress we’ve made in the first half of 2018 and see these as a good set of results in a more uncertain and highly competitive environment.
“For the first half, the bank delivered a profit before tax of £1.8 billion and a bottom line profit of £888 million – these figures include a £1 billion charge related to the settlement in principle with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), which we announced in May.
“We are also announcing an intention to declare our first dividend in ten years subject to final settlement with the DOJ.
“Our sector is undergoing significant change and we are positioning ourselves well to compete.
“We still have a lot more to do, to achieve our ambition of being the best bank for customers in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
“However, with our major legacy issues largely behind us, we are able to fully focus on closing this gap.”
RBS said it reached a civil settlement in principle with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in relation to the DoJ’s investigation into RBS’s issuance and underwriting of US residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) between 2005 and 2007, resulting in a £1.04 billion additional provision in the second quarter of 2018.
RBS said declaration of the interim dividend “is subject to the timing of finalisation of the previously announced civil settlement in principle with the DoJ in relation to the DoJ’s investigation into RBS’s issuance and underwriting of US RMBS.”
The bank added: “We expect to finalise the settlement with the DoJ and will make a further announcement at the relevant time.”
Operating profit before tax in the second quarter was £613 million, down from £1.24 billion in Q2 2017.