“In February I placed trust at the heart of my new strategy for our bank. We have taken the first steps towards that goal, with early progress in making RBS simpler, clearer and fairer.
We are reducing costs, and are on track to achieve our capital targets.
UK and Ireland are showing signs of growth, and impairment trends are significantly better than we had anticipated at the start of the year.
We have confirmed today that Ulster Bank remains a core part of our bank. We have a good market position and believe that, with investment, Ulster Bank can deliver attractive shareholder returns in the future.
But we know we still have a long list of conduct and litigation issues to deal with and much, much more to do to restore our customers’ trust in us.”
Q3 2014 attributable profit was £896 million, up from £230 million in Q2 2014 and a loss of £828 million in Q3 2013. Profit before tax was £1,270 million compared with £1,010 million in Q2 2014 and a loss of £634 million in Q3 2013.
The quarter included net impairment provision releases of £801 million, principally in Ulster Bank and RBS Capital Resolution, and litigation and conduct costs of £780 million.
RBS continues to make excellent progress in building its capital ratios. The Common Equity Tier 1 ratio has strengthened 220 basis points since the year end and 70 basis points in the quarter to 10.8%.
Capital build was supported by further excellent progress in the nine months to 30 September in de-risking the balance sheet, including:
• Further disposals and run-off in RCR, with funded assets down £11 billion.
• A 16% reduction in RWAs in Corporate & Institutional Banking, including running down our US- backed product franchise.
• The sale of €9 billion of securities in the RBS N.V. liquidity portfolio.
Personal & Business Banking continued to perform strongly with income growth of 3% in the quarter. Operating profit in Q3 2014 was £881 million, up 66% on Q2 2014.
Commercial & Private Banking had an improved performance with income up 1% compared with Q2 2014. Operating profit in Q3 2014 was £471 million, up 23% on Q2 2014.
Corporate & Institutional Banking had a weak quarter with an operating loss of £557 million which reflected litigation and conduct costs of £562 million, including £400 million relating to potential costs following investigations into the foreign exchange market, and significantly lower income.
Further progress has been made on improving efficiency, with adjusted operating expenses down 5% over the quarter. RBS remains on track to deliver its £1 billion operating cost reduction target for 2014, at constant foreign exchange rates.
The quarter saw RBS achieve the largest ever IPO of a US bank, listing 28.75% of Citizens Financial Group. We continue to target an IPO of Williams & Glyn towards the end of 2016.
RBS confirms it will retain Ulster Bank following completion of the strategic review. Ulster Bank remains a core part of RBS, offering a good strategic fit with our focused retail and commercial banking strategy. We have a good market position and believe that Ulster Bank can deliver attractive returns, with appropriate investment.