RBS set to post eighth annual loss


Royal Bank of Scotland will post its eighth year of annual losses when it announces its full-year results today.

The lender revealed last month that it would remain in the red after taking a £2.5 billion hit, including more mammoth charges for mis-selling scandals.

Bosses at the bank said the latest ''clean-up'' charges would lead it to a loss for 2015.

The lender announced a deficit of £3.5 billion last year, although this is down on the £9 billion reported a year earlier

RBS, which is 73% owned by the Government, is expected to set aside another £500 million for PPI mis-selling claims, as well as £1.5 billion to cover US legal action on toxic mortgage-backed bonds sold before the financial crisis.

The City will watch to see if RBS chief executive Ross McEwan will again opt not to take a bonus payment. Last year he did not take a £1 million ''role-based'' incentive, which is paid on top of salaries by some banks

The bank revealed in January a £498 million write-down on the value of its troubled private bank, Coutts, while it said it was pumping another £4.2 billion into its pension scheme.

The additional provision for US mortgage legal action took its total to £3.8 billion, but further hefty charges are expected as the bank nears a settlement with authorities in the US.

RBS stressed in January that the latest provision only covers civil claims and does not relate to ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice or US attorneys.

It is the last of the major banks to settle with US authorities, with more than a dozen lenders already having agreed settlements.

The results come in the middle of the bank reporting season, as this week Lloyds Banking Group said its bottom-line pre-tax profits fell 7% to £1.64 billion in 2015 from £1.76 billion in 2014 after taking another £2.1 billion hit for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling.

The lender also revealed an £8.5 million pay package for its chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio and handed out a special dividend payment to shareholders worth £2 billion.

This week Europe's largest bank HSBC saw its annual pre-tax profits rise 1% to 18.9 billion US dollars (£13.2 billion), but fell short of analyst expectations of 21.8 billion dollars (£15.2 billion).

It also revealed it was one of a number of financial institutions being probed by America's Securities and Exchange Commission over whether it had hired people with links to Asian government officials, known as ''princelings''.