RBS reports 44m loss in first quarter

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has reported a pre-tax loss of 44m in the first three months of the year, compared to the 479m profit it made in the same period last year.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has reported a pre-tax loss of £44m in the first three months of the year, compared to the £479m profit it made in the same period last year.

The bank, which is now 70% government owned, saw bad debts rise to £2.9bn, from £656m a year ago.

Chief executive Stephen Hester says while the outlook remains challenging, he remains confident that it will be able to rebuild shareholder value through the strength of its franchises.

In February, the bank revealed a loss of £24.1bn in 2008, the biggest in UK corporate history 

“We remain cautious and continue to plan and manage our businesses in the full expectation that both 2009 and 2010 will be very tough years for RBS,” he says.

RBS has already signalled that it intends to axe a further 9,000 jobs around the world in addition to the 2,700 job losses planned in the UK this year.

Meanwhile, Lloyds Banking Group said yesterday (May 7) that bad debts on corporate loans were continuing to rise and that it expected to make a loss in 2009.

Barclays reported a first-quarter pre-tax profit rise of 15% to £1.37bn, but similarly predicted a sharp rise in bad-debt charges.

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