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Royal Bank of Scotland posts 2012 net loss of £5.971 billion



LONDON – State-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland said Thursday that net losses almost tripled to £5.97 billion in 2012, when it was hit by compensation payouts, Libor rate-rigging fines and a vast accounting charge.

The enormous loss after taxation, equivalent to $9.05 billion or 6.89 billion euros, compared with a shortfall of £1.997 billion in 2011, the lender announced in a results statement. It marked the bank’s fifth successive annual net loss.

Most significantly, RBS took a huge accounting charge of £4.649 billion against the improving value of the group’s own debt. That contrasted with a credit of £1.914 billion in 2011.

And the lender also set aside another £450 million to cover compensation for mis-selling payment protection insurance and £650 million for clients mis-sold interest rate hedging products.

Pre-tax losses meanwhile ballooned to £5.2 billion compared with £1.2 billion last time around.

The Edinburgh-based lender added that it had cut its bonus pool to £607 million, from £789 million in 2011, after recouping cash to pay its recent fines to settle allegations of Libor interest rate rigging.

“RBS is four years into its recovery plan and good progress has been made. We are a much smaller, more focused and stronger bank. Our target is for 2013 to be the last big year of restructuring,” said RBS chief executive Stephen Hester.

He added: “2012 saw landmark achievements for RBS. It was also a chastening year.

“Along with the rest of the banking industry we faced significant reputational challenges as we worked with regulators to put right past mistakes.

“We are determined to overcome the cultural and reputational baggage of pre-crisis times with the same focus we have applied to the financial clean-up from that era.”

RBS had already revealed earlier this month that it would pay fines totalling $612 million (453 million euros) to US and British regulators to settle allegations of Libor interest rate rigging.

The group, which is more than 80-percent owned by the British government after an enormous bailout at the height of the global financial crisis, became the third bank to admit its part in the Libor affair after Barclays and UBS.


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