RBS trebles deficit with £7billion loss in 2016

Posted February 25, 2017

"In 2016, provisions for litigation in the United States relating to mortgage-backed securities was the heaviest weight, costing the bank £3.1bn".

Restructuring costs amounted to £2.1bn as the bank continues to retrench from overseas countries to focus on United Kingdom retail and commercial banking.

Ross McEwan, RBS's eternally hopeful chief executive, says better days are just around the corner.

"These costs are a stark reminder of what happens to a bank when things go wrong", McEwan said in a statement.

The taxpayer-owned lender has now accumulated total losses of £58 billion ($74 billion) since the financial crisis.

While not specifying numbers, McEwan's words have sparked anger at labour union Unite, which has called for a moratorium on branch closures, highlighting the shuttering of over 520 RBS branches since 2014 and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

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He said that the group had got through most of the legacy issues that had "plagued" it, but "we are not completely done with the past". It also continues to pay for other past misdeeds, including payment protection insurance mis-selling. The restructuring costs included a £750 million provision in regards to the cancellation of the Williams & Glyn project.

Yesterday, Barclay's opened 3.4% up as the group announced its profits had risen from £1.1bn in 2015 to £3.2bn this year.

The bank now has a £6.8bn war chest to cover U.S. litigation costs, but if the bill exceeds that number, RBS will have to put its hand in its pocket again.

AlphaValue reissued an "add" rating and issued a GBX 350 ($4.30) target price on shares of RBS in a research report on Thursday, December 3rd. The bank reduced its workforce by 15 percent past year to 77,800 employees, according to figures reported Friday.

Royal Bank of Scotland has posted 1 billion pounds of restructuring expenses in the fourth quarter and has planned to spend an additional 2 billion pounds on the effort over the next three years. This pushed down the bank's capital reserves, with the common equity tier one ratio dropping to 13.4 per cent, from 15.5 per cent a year ago.

Its core business, comprising commercial and retail banking, delivered its eighth successive quarter of £1bn operating profit, stripping out one-off items.