Royal Bank of Scotland has posted a pre-tax profit of £826m in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a £1.5bn loss over the same period in 2012.
RBS’s UK retail arm saw pre-tax profit fall to £557m, down from £632 in the same period in 2012.
The bank advanced £3.6bn-worth of mortgages to 28,000 UK homeowners in the first quarter, down 10 per cent in value on the £4bn of lending over the same period a year earlier.
Chairman Philip Hampton says the bank is looking to return to private ownership within a year, after requiring a £45.5bn taxpayer-funded bailout in October 2008.
He says: “It could be earlier, that is a matter for the Government, but certainly we think the recovery process could be substantially complete in about a year or so.”
RBS group chief executive Stephen Hester says: “These results show pleasing progress in delivering a strong and valuable RBS for all our stakeholders. We expect to substantially complete the bank’s restructuring phase during 2014.
“We are seeing the start of a pick-up in loan demand and have a strong surplus of funds ready and available to fully support economic recovery.”
FSC Investment Services managing director Frank Cochran says: “It is a good move to get RBS back into the private sector as soon as possible because the general public who bailed it out are expecting a return on their investment.”