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  1. ITV Report

Taxpayer owned Royal Bank of Scotland posts half-year profit for first time in three years

Taxpayer owned RBS has posted a £939m profit. Credit: PA

Taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland has posted a half-year profit for the first time in three years as it became the latest bank to outline post-Brexit contingency plans.

The bank, which is 72% owned by the government, recorded a £939 million profit in the six months to 30 June, compared to a £2 billion loss in the same period last year.

Second-quarter profit came in at £680 million, representing the bank's second consecutive quarter in the black.

This follows on from a £259 million profit in the first three months of the year.

RBS also said it plans to employ 150 staff in a hub in Amsterdam and would be engaging with the Dutch central bank to ensure it can continue to operate its NatWest Markets business across the bloc.

Chief executive Ross McEwan said the news signalled the lender is moving on from its troubled past.

Mr McEwan told ITV News Reporter Joanna Partridge the state-owned group was "completely different" to the bank that was bailed out 10 years ago and was confident the the government can start re-selling its stake in the bank in three years

"I'm not saying we'll get all of it, but I think we'll start that process which would be very good," he said.

Mr McEwan said the results showed RBS is growing income, reducing costs and improving returns for shareholders.

He says the bank's "path to sustainable profitability is becoming clearer and closer and we have resolved some of the most significant issues."

However, the group's first-half profits are dented by litigation, conduct and restructuring costs which total £1 billion.

The group has racked up billions of pounds worth of costs since it was rescued by the government at the height of the financial crisis.

Last month, RBS agreed a £4.2 billion US settlement over claims that it mis-sold toxic mortgage bonds in the run-up to the crisis. The bank took a £151 million charge in its second quarter as a result of the deal.