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RBS reports a pre-tax loss of £21m

Royal Bank of Scotland has reported a pre-tax operating loss of £21m for the first quarter of 2010 up more than 50 per cent from the £44m loss recorded for the same period last year.

The taxpayer-backed bank reported operating profits of £713m compared with a loss of £1.35bn in the fourth quarter of 2009 and an operating profit of £179m reported in the first quarter of 2009.

Group chief executive Stephen Hester says the boosted performance is a result of “one of the most significant corporate restructurings ever undertaken” by the bank.

He says: “We said the plan would take five years to implement, set out transparently where the milestones would be along the way and we explained how, if implemented properly, the plan would turn RBS from a problem into an opportunity for all our constituencies.

“Today we show that we remain on track for the delivery of the plan. We have made good progress but there is still significant work to be done. I welcome the market’s recognition of our progress to date, but the challenges we still face are real and should not be underestimated.

“The year has begun for RBS broadly as we had expected. Economic recovery is benefiting our customers and thereby ourselves. However, we remain conscious of the economic imbalances still to be tackled globally and of the risk of specific events such as those affecting Greece, with the associated danger of contagion.”

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