‘Our income is up, costs are down’
Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland were down 1.5 per cent in early trading today despite the state-backed bank reporting a stronger than expected pre-tax profit of £792m ($1.10b) in the first quarter — up from £259m for the same quarter last year.
Running costs at the bank are also falling as it continues its plan to shrink in size.
The bank’s chief executive, Ross McEwan, said: “This is a good set of results, showing the progress we are making, despite a more competitive market. Our income is up, costs are down and our capital has strengthened again.”
RBS did not set aside any more money to cover costs for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling claims. An outstanding multi-billion pound fine from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to put the bank back into the red at full-year results this year.
RBS said today that it had no news on concluding the DOJ talks. Once it is out of the way, the bank is expected to return to paying dividends.