The return represents a better than expected performance for the Scottish bank, after analysts polled by Reuters predicted profits of Â£10.2 billion.
The improved showing for RBS was driven principally by 19 per cent growth in profit from investment banking to $4.4 billion at its Global Banking & Markets Division.
Meanwhile operating costs as a percentage of revenue improved to 41.4 per cent from 41.9 percent.
This helped to offset a 27 per cent drop in profit to $510 million from the firm's insurance business, where claims related to a recent spate of floods in the UK totalled $254 million.
News of the companyâs interim performance comes as RBS is embroiled in a takeover battle with Barclays Bank for Dutch bank ABN Amro.