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RBS profit jumps as costs fall

RBS cashpoints Image copyright Getty Images

Royal Bank of Scotland has reported a profit of £792m for the first three months of the year, up from £259m for the same quarter last year.

The rise is partly thanks to a fall in restructuring costs, and a drop in conduct and litigation costs.

The bank is also continuing with its plan to shrink in size, which means its running costs are falling.

RBS did not set aside any more money to cover costs for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling claims.

The quarterly profit follows on from RBS’s first annual profit in 10 years, reported in February.

RBS still has the threat of a major fine for mis-selling mortgages in the US in the run-up to the credit crisis hanging over it.

The fine could come any time this year, and estimates of its size vary wildly, between £1bn-£9bn. However, once this is out of the way RBS, which is still majority-owned by the taxpayer, will return to paying dividends.

RBS has been under the spotlight in recent months over the conduct of its specialist recovery division, the Global Restructuring Group (GRG), which operated between 2005 and 2013.

The GRG was marketed as an expert service that could save a business, but according to an official report, it mistreated thousands of small firms.

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