RBS 'ready to privatise in 2014'

3 May 2013

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is prepared to return to the private sector next year, according to the chairman of the company, Sir Philip Hampton.

RBS is currently majority owned by the government after a taxpayer-funded bailout was needed to rescue the bank after the financial crisis.

In a video statement posted in the company's website Mr Hampton said he expects the government to begin selling off its shares from the middle of 2014.

These comments come after RBS recorded a return to profit for the first three months of 2013.

The bank made a pre-tax profit of £826 million ($1.2 billion) after generating large losses last year.

RBS lost £1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2012 alone and then £2.2 billion in the last quarter.

The bank said losses relating to bad loans had dropped by 26 per cent to £1 billion and there has been a 79 per cent reduction in non-core assets since its restructuring initiative came into play after the economic crisis.

By Gary Cooper

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