RBS makes profit for third quarter in row

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan

Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday reported a profit before tax of £871 million and an attributable profit of £392 million for the third quarter of 2017 — the third successive quarter of profit — and an attributable profit of £1.3 billion for the year to date.

RBS CEO Ross McEwan said: “Our strategy to deliver a simpler, safer, customer-focussed bank, is working.

“We have grown income, reduced costs, made better use of our capital and continued to make progress on our legacy conduct issues.

“Our core bank continues to generate strong profits and we remain on track to hit our financial targets.”

RBS was saved by a £45.5 billion UK government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

The news on profits came a day after RBS agreed to pay more than $44 million and enter a non-prosecution agreement to settle a US Department of Justice criminal probe of traders accused of defrauding customers on mortgage-backed bond prices.

This $44 million settlement is separate from a multi-billion dollar penalty that RBS is expected to face in the US for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities (MBS) before the 2008 financial crisis.

Settling the MBS case is seen by analysts as a prerequisite for the UK government selling its 71% stake in the bank — and for RBS to resume paying dividends.