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RBS 'closer to dividend' despite 'chastening' £5.2bn loss

RBS 'closer to dividend' despite 'chastening' £5.2bn loss

Royal Bank of Scotland suffered a pre-tax loss of £5.17 billion in 2012  but believes it is still on course to start paying a dividend.

The loss was the consequence of a series of penalties including, Libor manipulation and the mis-selling of interest rate swaps and payment protection insurance.

Excluding these charges the picture was much rosier, with the state-owned lender reporting a £3.5 billion profit, this was a considerable improvement on the £1.82 billion in the previous year.

Chairman Sir Philip Hampton said the performance leaves the bank closer to selling part of its 82% stake in the bank and rewarding investors with a payout.  

‘We are delivering what we said we would do in our strategic plan. We have made RBS safer. It ismuch closer now to being in the good financial health that would allow shareholders to receive adividend and the government to start to sell its stake.’

RBS chief executive Stephen Hester (pictured) added:  ‘It was a chastening year. Along with the rest of the banking industry we faced significant reputational challenges as we worked with regulators to put right past mistakes.

‘We are determined to overcome the cultural and reputational baggage of pre-crisis times with the same focus we have applied to the financial clean-up from that era.’

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