RBS loses £446m as misconduct charges bite

Royal Bank of Scotland made a £446m loss in the first three months of the year as the bank continued to set aside hundreds of millions of pounds to deal with misconduct issues, reports The Telegraph.

The bank, 80pc owned by the taxpayer, lost £446m in the first quarter of 2015, which compares to a £1.2bn profit in the same period last year.

This was largely because the bank put aside £856m in conduct and litigation charges. The impairments relate to US investigations into foreign exchange manipulation, for which the bank has already paid out hundreds of millions of pounds, and an expected fine for mortgage-backed securities litigation.

The bank was also hit with heavy restructuring costs as it shrinks the investment bank that became so large in the lead up to the financial crisis.

RBS said it was making progress once the impact of the fines and the restructuring was ignored, with adjusted operating profits up 16pc.

Ross McEwan, RBS’s chief executive, is attempting to restore the bank’s reputation after its 2008 bail-out at the hands of the taxpayer, and a series of scandals.

However, continuing fines and restructuring costs have hampered RBS’s ability to make a profit.