Pension payments and mortgage claims to push RBS into loss

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Royal Bank of Scotland has announced write-downs of £3.6bn which will push the bank to a loss for 2015, driven by a multi-billion pound payment to its pension scheme.

In a statement, RBS says changes to accounting rules on funding defined benefit pension schemes mean the bank is bringing forward future pension contributions totalling £4.2bn.

It says the net impact of paying these contributions early is £1.6bn.

RBS has also set aside £1.5bn to cover litigation claims relating to US mortgages, and a further £500m for missold payment protection insurance.

Separately, the bank also plans to write down £498m relating to Coutts, its private banking arm.

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan says: “I am determined to put the issues of the past behind us and make sure RBS is a stronger, safer bank.

“We will now continue to move further and faster in 2016 to clean up the bank and improve our core businesses.

“We’ve always been open about the scale of past issues facing RBS and although there is clearly much more to do, this announcement is a further step towards addressing legacy issues and building a great bank for our customers and delivering long-term value for our shareholders.”