RBS boss: Reputation of bankers 'hits new lows'

The boss of RBS has admitted the banking sector's reputation has hit new lows as it counted the cost of its own failures.

RBS boss Stephen Hester at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference
RBS boss Stephen Hester at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference Credit: Press Association

The bank, which is 80% owned by the tax-payer, has set aside £310 million to deal with the fallout from a technical meltdown and two mis-selling scandals.

Its half-year losses have doubled to £1.5 billion.

Speaking to ITV News Stephen Hester said "It's tough". Asked how it feels to be a banker in 2012, he added:

It feels pretty terrible... There are important ways the banking industry has let down those that rely on it.

  • The bank said the computer glitch that locked many RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers out of their accounts would cost it £125 million
  • The lender warned that the full cost of the failure could rise and a further update would be given in the third quarter
  • RBS unveiled £135 million fund to cover the cost of payment protection insurance mis-selling
Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Stephen Hester
Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Stephen Hester Credit: Press Association

Stephen Hester waived his bonus in the wake of the IT melt-down. But he insisted RBS had undergone huge change for the better.

We have continued to make the bank safer and stronger as we clean up problems of the past. And despite the tougher economy, these results show our ongoing businesses to be more resilient than before with many further improvements under way.