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RBS pockets £1.2bn Q1 profit

RBS pockets £1.2bn Q1 profit

(Update) Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) saw its first quarter-profit rise to £1.2 billion, boosted by falling operating costs and PPI claims.

Net profit rose to £1.2 billion pounds, up from £393 million in March 2013 and an £8.7 billion loss at the end of 2013. The bank's pre-tax operating profit stood at £1.6 billion, up from a £9 billion loss at the end of December.

At 8:39 the state-backed bank benefited from the news, with its shares up 10.7% to 339.4 pence on the day.

RBS Wealth, which includes Coutts and Adam & Co, saw operating profit rise by £29 million over the quarter to £78 million, with a £1 million impairment loss versus a £21 million recovery in December of last year. Income for the division stood at £3 million, while RBS Wealth reduced staff numbers by 1,000 over the three-month period to 4,500.

'We still have a lot of work to do and plenty of issues from the past to reckon with,' said chief executive. 'Restructuring costs are likely to be considerably higher for the remainder of the year than the rate implied by the first quarter.'

McEwan is planning to make the business more efficient by bringing divisions together, scaling back the investment bank and cutting jobs to boost profit after the lender reported its biggest annual loss since the financial crisis hit in 2013.

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