Royal Bank of Scotland reports £2bn loss

1RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) has reported a loss of £1.98bn loss for 2015, its 8th year of annual losses. The deficit is partly due to £3.6bn for litigation costs, including £600m to cover claims over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance. The bank, which is still 73% government owned, set aside £2.9bn for restructuring.

Once these costs are stripped out, RBS posted a £4.4bn underlying profit, down from £6bn a year earlier. RBS said the fall in underlying profits was due to lower income from interest payments, Chief executive Ross McEwan told the BBC’s Today programme: “Low interest rates do hurt banks and its very clear interest rates will stay lower for much longer now.

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“The UK and Republic of Ireland have quite strong economies… but you are seeing a slowing down in a number of economies around the world and low interest rates do hurt banks.”

Mr McEwan added: “We still have a lot of work to do in the cost base of the business”