Royal Bank of Scotland reports first quarterly profit in two years

Royal Bank of Scotland Great Yarmouth. Picture: Anthony Carroll

Royal Bank of Scotland Great Yarmouth. Picture: Anthony Carroll - Credit: Archant

Royal Bank of Scotland is back in the black after reporting its first quarterly profit since 2015.

The taxpayer-owned lender booked a £259m profit in the first three months of the year, compared with a £968m loss in the same quarter last year.

It is the first time since the third quarter of 2015 that RBS – which is 72% owned by the government – has turned a quarterly profit.

The numbers will come as welcome relief to chief executive Ross McEwan, who has presided over a string of recent poor results, which tally up to a staggering £58bn of losses since RBS was bailed out by the government at the height of the financial crisis.

He said: 'These results reflect very much what we talked about at full year.

'This bank has a very strong core with great potential, and we believe that, by going further on cost reduction and faster on digital transformation, we will deliver a simpler, safer and even more customer-focused bank, with a compelling investment case.'