Profits double at Royal Bank of Scotland

Ross McEwan. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Ross McEwan. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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EDINBURGH-based Royal Bank of Scotland announced today it doubled profits in the first quarter of this year, but warned that past problems which have cost it billions are far from over.

The group, which is 80 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said pre-tax profits rose to £1.64 billion from £826 million in the same period last year, but boss Ross McEwan said there are still “plenty of issues from the past to reckon with”. There were no new hits to cover past scandals or litigation, or major provisions such as the £4.8bn hit it recently took to create a “bad bank” where it could hive off toxic assets.

But RBS admitted that it would continue to be haunted by misdemeanours of previous years, which have seen the bank shell out billions of pounds over issues such as payment protection insurance mis-selling. The trading update was the first it announced since an £8.2bn loss for 2013.