RBS returns to the black with £752m profit

State-backed lender reports first annual profit in a decade

State-backed lender Royal Bank of Scotland has reported a profit of £752m for 2017— the first time in a decade. The profit compares to a £7bn loss for the year before.

Royal Bank of Scotland’s spokesman told the BBC that it is “a symbolic moment”.

However, despite returning to the black, the lender’s shares were down nearly 4 per cent making it the top faller in the FTS 100. This could be because of a potential fine from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) over the mis-selling of mortgage-backed financial products in the offing.

Chief executive Ross McEwan said settling the case was the “one major legacy issue that we have yet to resolve” and that the timing of this was not in its control.

RBS set aside an extra £492m for US litigation, taking the total set aside for US court action around the sale of those products to £3.2bn.

“We have been constantly hit with the sins of the past with conduct and litigation issues and I’ve been heavily restructuring the business to bring it back to the UK,” McEwan added.

RBS remains more than 70 per cent owned by the taxpayer after its £45bn bail-out by the Government during the crisis.

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