RBS has warned that the company is still struggling to escape the legacy of its recent past saying that it is facing ‘significant conduct and litigation issues that will likely hit our profits going forward’.
The unusually explicit and emphatic statement by chair Ross McEwan followed an otherwise cheering first-half result for the bank, with profits up from £1.37 billion in 2013 to £2.65 billion.
While welcoming the numbers as showing ‘progress on all of our key priorities’ he also appeared to manage down expectations that the bank was close to closing the book on its regulatory liabilities.
‘Capital is stronger, costs are lower and customer activity is gradually improving - although we have only just started with our programme to make it easier for customers to do more business with us,’ he said.
‘But let me sound a note of caution. We are actively managing down a slate of significant legacy issues. I am pleased we have had two good quarters, but no one should get ahead of themselves here - there are bumps in the road ahead of us.’