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RBS profit plunges £8.2bn; 'neutral' on Scottish independence

RBS profit plunges £8.2bn; 'neutral' on Scottish independence

Royal Bank of Scotland posted a pre-tax loss of £8.2 billion in 2013 and said it remains 'neutral' on Scottish independence.

The loss included regulatory and redress provisions of £3.8 billion, while the establishment of an internal 'bad bank' - RBS Capital Resolution - registered impairments and losses of £3.8 billion.  

Excluding bad bank and legacy costs, RBS made an operating profit of £2.5 billion.

On the Scottish independence debate, which saw Standard Life this morning warn it could quit the country if gains independence, the part state-owned bank said:  'We are monitoring the debate on Scottish independence but, as I and my colleagues have said many times, we are politically neutral.

'We don't support political parties or political movements. We will respond to whatever voters decide and governments agree.'

Earlier this year, business secretary Vince Cable had said RBS would 'inevitably' move its headquarters from Edinburgh to London if Scotland voted to leave the UK.

The bank also updated the market on its comprehensive business review, which will see some 30,000 jobs go. The bank's seven divisions will be realigned into three businesses - Personal & Business Banking, Commercial & Private Banking and Corporate and Institutional Banking.  

'Regrettably, last year brought further reminders that many of our customers and stakeholders do not trust us to do so,' RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton told the market. 

'We are confident that the actions announced today will deliver a customer-focused bank with undoubted capital strength, the potential for attractive returns and an ability to recommence dividends over the medium-term.'

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